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A Mountain Pavilion. 

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Every-Day Life in Korea 

A Collection of 
Studies and Stories 




By Rev. Daniel L. Gifford 

Eight Years a Missionary in Korea 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

Chicago : New York : Toronto 

Publishers of Evangelical Literature 

Copyright, 1898, by Fleming H. Revell Company 


The author has had in mind a number of classes 
of readers in the preparation of this book ; among 
others, business men, fond of facts in a compact 
form, ladies in the missionary societies, ever alert 
to add to their fund of missionary information, and 
another class still, found in the young people's 
societies, who enjoy information presented in a 
pictorial or narrative form. We all are fond of 
hearing of things that have a human interest; 
and we like to know how other people live their 
lives and do their work in the world, especially if 
their experiences and environments are quite dif- 
ferent from our own. The pages that follow may 
be characterized, in the main, as a series of 
pictures of life in Korea — life in the olden time, 
as history has presented it; modern, every-day 
life, as the Westerner living among an Oriental 
people sees it ; life as it is affected by the work of 
the Christian missionary; and, finally, the life of 
the missionary himself. The author acknowledges 
his indebtedness for much of suggestion and 
material to the writings of others who have dealt 
with things Korean — "Corea, the Hermit Nation, " 
by Rev. W. E. Griffis, D.D. ; "Korea from its 
Capital," by Rev. George W. Gilmore; "Korea 
and her Neighbors, ' ' by Mrs. Isabella Bird Bishop ; 


the "Encyclopedia of Missions;" the "Seoul In- 
dependent;" the "Korean Repository." 

In one respect, however, this book will be ob- 
served to differ from all the other volumes upon 
Korea that have preceded it, and that is in the 
proportion of its pages devoted to a presentation 
of the missionary work of the land. Here it will 
be found that the work has been traced historic- 
ally from its beginnings, its many-sided develop- 
ment fully portrayed, with a chapter at the close 
on that glorious, evangelistic, forward movement 
now in progress in the country, the spread of 
which continually reminds the workers on the 
field that in a very peculiar manner they are 
"laborers together with God." 

Mendota, III., Nov., 1897. 


I. Where Is Korea? . . . . 1 1 

II. A Historical Vitascope, . . . . 24 

III. How the People Live, ... 46 

IV. A Wedding in Korea, . . . * 7^ 
V. Guilds and Other Associations, . . 76 

VI. Ancestral Worship as Practiced in Korea, . 88 

VII. A Visit to a Famous Mountain, . . 99 

VIII. The Fear of Demons, . . . . 106 

IX. An Adventure on the Han River, . . 118 

X. Leaves of Mission History, . . .128 

XI. Missionary Life and Work, . . . 136 

XII. What the Gospel Did for One Man, . . 163 

XIII, Education in the Capital, . . . 170 

XIV. Building of the West Gate Church, . . 195 
XV. A Remarkable Forward Movement, . 207 

Appendix A, . . . 230 
Appendix B, . . . ,231 

Every-day Life in Korea 



A friend and myself, returning to America after 
our first term of missionary service in Korea, sat 
one Saturday evening in the office of a hotel in 
Salt Lake City. In signing the hotel register an 
hour previous, we had each of us written in the 
column intended for addresses, simply the word 
designating the country from which we had so 
recently arrived. A thoughtful look came over 
my companion's face, and presently he remarked 
as we sat there: "I think we made a mistake in 
signing that hotel register. The clerk will not 
know where Korea is; will think that we have 
given a false address and will become suspicious 
of us, under the impression that we are trying to 
swindle the hotel. " A moment later I glanced 
toward the desk and, sure enough, the fore- 
finger of the clerk was gently waving to and 
fro unmistakably in our direction. A moment 
later I stood at the desk. "Korea, Korea" (in a 


tone of soliloquy), "where is Korea?" I 
answered, "You surely must know where Korea 
is — the scene of the late war in the Far East." 
"Oh," was his reply, "I never before saw it 
spelled with a K. " He smiled, and evidently his 
mind was relieved. Allow me to remark, paren- 
thetically, that the up-to-date spelling of the 
name of the countr}^ followed by all who reside 
there, is K-o-r-e-a, with a "K." With all the 
gratuitous advertising given the country by the 
comparatively recent Chino-Japanese war, it is a 
matter of surprise that so many people at home 
persist in thinking of Korea as an "island" located 
somewhere "in the tropics." In view of this 
fact a brief study of the geography of the country 
may not be out of place in this opening chapter. 

Directly west from the crescent-shaped Hondo, 
the largest of the islands of Japan, lies the long 
and narrow peninsula of Korea. With no very 
great strain upon the imagination one may see, in 
the contour of the country, the resemblance to a 
rabbit sitting erect. If, too, we may take for our 
conception of the modest little animal, Joel 
Chandler Harris' portrait of "Br'er Rabbit," in 
his fascinating animal tales, the analogy may 
likewise hold true of the character of the people, 
who, in the main, are mild-mannered, interesting, 
keen of intellect and bright, especially in the 
arts of deception. "Br'er Rabbit he lay low." 

Draw a line from Milwaukee to Atlanta, and 
you have about the range of the latitude of the 


country; viz., from abovit 34 to 43 degrees north 
latitude. But as the far north of the country is 
prodigiously mountainous and but little popu- 
lated, it is well to associate the relative position of 
Korea on the map with the Ohio valley, plus 
Tennessee. Seoul (pronounced by many Sah- 
oul), the capital, in every way the most important 
city of the peninsula, containing perhaps 200,000 
people, is in the same latitude, as Mr. Gilmore 
suggests, as the city of Richmond, Virginia. So 
it will be seen that Korea and the tropics are a 
long way apart, if tigers do exist there. In the 
absence of statistical bureaus, such as are found 
in western lands, it is impossible to lay claim to 
scientific accuracy in speaking of the size of the 
country; but Korea with its islands has probably 
an area of ninety thousand square miles, equiva- 
lent to that of the states of New York and 
Pennsylvania combined. 

Probably twelve million people are scattered 
through the valleys of the Hermit Kingdom. 

The visitor to Korea journeys, as does almost 
everyone, by a Japanese steamer of the Nippon 
Yusen Kaishia line, from Nagasaki, Japan, which 
first touches at the southeastern port of Korea — 
Fusan. Thence to Chemulpo, the seaport of 
Seoul, half-way up the western coast, the steamer 
threads its way through a profusion of islands, 
washed by dangerous currents. Off the south 
and west coasts of Korea lie thousands of islands, 
whose waters teem with fish. Indeed, one of the 


titles of the King- of Korea is "Lord of the Ten 
Thousand Islands." These islands are mostly 
mountainous, many of them sheer rocks, while 
others are covered with vegetation. The largest 
of these is Quelpart, the "Botany Bay" of Korea, 
and probably the best known is "Port Hamilton," 
at one time an English possession. Along the 
eastern coast, it is worthy of remark, islands are 
exceedingly rare. Hon. C. Waeber, the former 
Russian minister, in his admirable paper on the 
meteorology of Korea, speaks of the cold Arctic 
current flowing down the eastern coast of the 
country; but the southern and western coasts are 
washed by the same Yellow Sea which laves the 
shore of northern China, and the waters off these 
two coasts feel the influence of one of the three 
branches of the warm Japanese Current, which 
corresponds to the Gulf Stream flowing in the 
Atlantic Ocean. 

The coast is rather bleak and forbidding, giv- 
ing but little idea of the fine scenery existing 
in the interior. Frequent inlets break the 
coast line, especially on the west and south sides 
of the country, in the smaller of which at 
one time of the day may be seen a broad sheet of 
dancing water, with boats laden with brush and 
rice, flitting hither and thither; but seen at a later 
hour, a transformation has taken place and the 
eye rests on dreary mud-flats, with a junk here 
and there standing high and dry on the plain, or 
resting in the channel of a very modest creek. 


Crab-holes are much in evidence. Wading-birds 
utter their sharp cries, and yonder the smoke 
curls from the rude hut of the salt-refiner. This 
transformation scene has been wrought by the 
tide, which rises along these coasts, somewhat as 
it does in the Bay of Fundy, to an average height 
of twenty-six feet. On the eastern coast, be it 
noted in contrast, there is a rise and fall in the 
tide of a very few feet only. The interior of the 
country is a perfect checker-board of inountains ; 
for, in traveling from one end of the land to the 
other, a person is never out of their sight. The 
mountains are chiefly composed of gneiss, various 
schists and granite, which in the lower peaks and 
hilltops are mostly in a disintegrated form. The 
soil of mountain and valley is generally yellow in 
color, but certain of the peaks are black, as are 
some of the river plains. These picturesque 
mountains, of every shape and size, are frequently 
verdureless, with many a furrow cut into their 
surface by the heavy rainfall of the summer. 
Others are covered wholly or in part with pine 
shrubs or trees, as well as grass and bushes of the 
magenta-hued azalea. The only snow-capped 
peaks, to my knowledge, are found in the Ever- 
White Mountains, upon the northern frontier. A 
high ridge of mountains traverses the peninsula 
somewhat close to the eastern coast, forming a 
watershed with a short slope to the east and a 
long slope to the west, between it and the par- 
tially enveloping sea. From this range lateral 


spurs run out. The influence of this range upon 
the country is seen in the fact that, with the 
exception of the two southeastern provinces (pro- 
duced by the range veering over more toward the 
middle of the country, as it nears the south, in 
latitude 37 degrees), most of the larger rivers and 
the bulk of the population are to be found on the 
western side of the peninsula. This illustration 
I have heard used : The distribution of the popu- 
lation of Korea may be compared to an open fan, 
with the handle to the east and the slats project- 
ing toward the Yellow Sea, the first in order 
being the southeast provinces of North and South 
Kyeng Sang. 

The most important stream is the Yahi River, 
off whose mouth occurred the one important naval 
engagement in the recent war. This river, 
together with the Tumen River and the Ever- 
White Mountains, forms the northern boundary 
of Korea, between China on the north and the 
territory of Russia on the northeast. Other 
important rivers there are, which, however, do 
not compare in length with the one first men- 
tioned — the Tatong River, in the north, upon 
which the city of Pyeng-yang (pronounced Ping- 
yang) is located; further south the Plan River, 
which bends around the cit}'" of Seoul ; and still 
further south the Keum River, all of which are 
on the west side of the peninsula. In the south- 
east of Korea, also worthy of mention, is the Nak- 
tong River. The treaty ports of Korea consist of 


Seoul, Chemulpo, and Fusan, already mentioned, 
and Gensan on the eastern coast. Two new ports 
have been opened this autumn — one at Mokpo in 
the southwest, the other at Chinampo, the sea- 
port of Pyeng-yang. 

Korea, for many centuries, consisted of eight 
provinces, but about a year ago, for administrative 
purposes, five of the largest were cut in two, mak- 
ing a total of thirteen provinces. The historical 
eight, with their subdivisions, are located as fol- 
lows: In the northeast are the provinces of North 
and South Ham Kyeng; in the northwest are 
North and South Pyeng An ; below them, in the 
western central portion, lies Whang Hai, then 
Kyeng Kui, then North and South Choung 
Chong; in the eastern middle part is Kang Won; 
in the southeast lie North and South Kyeng 
Sang; and in the southwest are North and South 

The remark upon the country which seems to 
call forth the greatest surprise at home is, that 
in the winter time I frequently have seen oxen, 
each laden with a couple of great bags of rice, 
walking across the Han River, near Seoul, upon 
the ice. 

Further than this, now and again, when 
taking a Saturday afternoon half-holiday skating 
upon the same river, I have seen a hundred 
men and boys at a time grouped on the ice, half of 
them standing about with their long-stemmed 
pipes, the other half seated upon little hand- 


sleds, each beside a small square hole in the ice 
and in his hands a square-framed reel, with which 
he worked up and down a heavily weighted three- 
pronged troUing-hook, in the water below. 
Their success in fishing, it may be mentioned, 
seemed to be rather similar to that of the major- 
ity of men who invest in lottery tickets. But the 
point to be noted is that the ice was frozen to 
such a thickness that, with a hundred or more 
men massed in one spot, it neither broke nor 
cracked. Winter settles down by the middle of 
December. In the central and southern parts of 
the country the thermometer ranges down to 
zero; farther north, in the vicinity of Pyeng-yang, 
the mercury has been known to fall as low as fifteen 
degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. What the cold 
lacks in thermometer readings it seems to make 
up in a certain penetrating quality. In the 
neighborhood of Seoul there is an occasional snow- 
fall of perhaps six inches. By the middle of 
February the weather begins to moderate, and 
by the middle of the following month the farmers 
are mending the banks of the rice fields and 
beginning their spring work. The spring and fall 
in Korea are long and delightful, with any num- 
ber of beautiful clear days. But what shall I say 
of the rainy season of midsummer? 

Think of the fall of rain in the heaviest summer 
storm at home, and that is the Vv^ay it will pour 
for half a day at a time. There will be clouds 
with recurring showers for one or two weeks. 


Tiled roofs begin to leak. Here a mud wall, 
there the thatched roof of some poor Korean, falls 
with a crash. Streets and drains are washed as 
clean as in Philadelphia. Clothes and trunks grow 
moldy. Shoes removed at night are covered with 
green in the morning. You seem to grow moldy 
yourself. The entire system becomes relaxed, 
and great care needs to be exercised in the 
selection of food and drink. Then, when one's 
powers of resistance seem almost exhausted, the 
sun bursts forth with mid-summer force, and the 
thermometer ranges up to a limit of perhaps 90 
degrees, Fahrenheit. Everything goes out upon 
the line to dry. One's spirits revive. Ungainly 
pith hats come oiit, for the westerner in Korea, as in 
so many other localities in the Orient, must protect 
the head against the direct rays of the sun. Mos- 
qiiitoes and bull-frogs make the nights melodious; 
then, after a few days of glorious sunshine, the 
rains commence again. The rainy season proper 
begins with July ist and ends the 15th of August; 
but not infrequently it lasts from late June to 
early September, a period of three months. At 
its close quinine becomes a table relish to ward 
off malaria. 

But if the rainy season is trying, it would be a 
national calamity to be without it, for the rice 
ponds, to which the nation looks for the main 
staple in its year's supply of food, are carefully 
banked and terraced so as to drain from one into 
the other, and wait for the poured-out blessing of 


rain to bring the golden harvest. If the Koreans 
could not live without rice, quite as little could they 
do without rice straw. With it the common people 
prepare the feed for their stock, thatch their 
roofs, make their sandals, braid ropes, weave 
cables for the anchors of their junks, make 
sails and the mats for their floors, tie up their 
strings of ten eggs each, and make the sprawling 
images of men filled with small coin which they 
throw upon the roadside the fifteenth day of the 
first moon of the year to carry away their ill-luck. 
Korean rice is of a good quality, and much of it 
is shipped to Japan. When the rice supply grows 
scanty, in the late spring, the country people 
boil barley in its stead for their main food staple. 
Millet is similarly used in some localities. Wheat 
is used almost exclusively in making liquor. 
From buckwheat they make a kind of vermicelli, 
out of which they prepare a dish called "cook- 
su, " of which foreigners are very fond. Beans 
are used for food — put sparingly into the rice 
kettles, or decomposed for a peppery sauce 
which furnishes one of their side dishes. 
Again, they are mixed with chopped straw and 
boiled in water, forming a hot mixture that is 
the sole food of the cattle and horses of Korea. 
Beans are also an article of export. A species of 
turnip or enormous white radish called "mu" is 
used in a sliced form for another of the side dishes 
which they eat with their rice. Another product 
is the "paichu, " a species of cabbage shaped 


something like a nubbin of corn. This, with the 
red pepper — which, spread out to dry in the fall 
on the farmer's thatched roof, adds such a touch 
of color to the rural scenery — is used with other 
ingredients for making a species of sauerkraut, 
of which the Koreans are fond. Most Korean 
side dishes, I may remark, are seasoned very 
highly with either salt or red pepper, or cooked 
with vegetable oil. Ginger, onions and lettuce 
are grown in their gardens. There is a very 
limited production of potatoes. Tobacco is raised 
in large quantities. Broom corn and hemp are 
also cultivated. Cotton also grows in their fields. 
It may be mentioned parenthetically that most of 
the clothing worn by Koreans is made out of cot- 
ton cloth, part of which is native and part the 
product of the looms of Osaka and Manchester. 
Silk goods are also woven, for which industry the 
mulberry tree and the silkworm are cultivated. 
The ginseng root, so highly prized as a medicine 
in China, is grown as a government monopoly. 
Korea is essentially an agricultural country, with 
methods of cultivation that are crude, yet effect- 
ive. The farmers all live in villages. Large 
tracts of land lie unfilled. 

There is considerable mineral wealth in the 
country. Iron in the forms of limonite and 
magnetic ore is profitably mined. An excellent 
quality of anthracite coal comes from the vicinity 
of Pyeng-yang. Tin, copper, lead and silver 
mines exist. Gold in considerable quantities is 


carried out of the country each year, part of 
which sees the custom-house, and probably as 
much more which does not is exported to China 
and Japan. One hundred miles north from 
Pyeng-yang, at Unsan, gold is being mined by 
an American syndicate, which also has under 
construction the first railroad to be built in Korea, 
which will run from Chemulpo to Seoul. 

In the matter of fruits there is first a woody 
pear, which reminds me of the remark of my 
lamented friend Ritchie, of China, in speaking of 
similar fruit in that country: "It all depends on 
what you are eating it for. If you are eating it 
for a turnip, it is very good." There are musk- 
melons, apricots, nectarines, grapes, a small red 
cherry that grows on a bush, scrubby apples, 
luscious persimmons and excellent chestnuts and 
walnuts. The Koreans have fine-looking cattle 
which they use, bullocks and cows alike, for 
working in the fields, carrying loads and dragging 
great clumsy carts. Cowhide is an article of 
export. Koreans never think of drinking milk, 
and express great disrelish for the taste of but- 
ter. The average Korean is too poor to eat beef 
and pork with any regularity, and in their stead 
he eats various varieties of fish, and, though he is 
slow to admit it to the foreigner, he occasionally 
roasts his dog. A few sheep exist, which are 
reserved as sacred animals for royal sacrifice to 
Hananim, on special occasions, such as a drouth. 

The Korean pony is small, sure-footed, pos- 


sessed of great endurance, but frequently vicious. 
It is used as a beast of burden, and shares with 
the aristocrat's donkey the honor of use under the 
saddle. For an appreciative description of the 
Korean pony I commend you to Rev. J. S. Gale's 
sketch in the Korean Repository. 

Every house keeps a wolfish or currish dog, 
brave to a faiilt — in barking. Cats exist and 
razor-backed pigs. There are also rats, mice, and 
weasels. If one knows where to go, where 
mountains are many and men are few, tigers, 
leopards, foxes, wild boar, and deer can be found 
in the country. Saucy magpies, screaming kites, 
inky crows and armies of sparrows are to be seen 
everywhere. In the country may be heard the 
cuckoo's and the wild pigeon's notes ; and the lark 
pours forth his melody. The stately stork and 
crane swoop over the rice fields. Falcons and 
eagles are seen rarely. Many a pheasant starts 
up from beside the country road, resplendent in 
the gorgeous plumage that finds a faint reflection 
in the markings of the barn-yard fowls, so plenti- 
ful in Korea. Near the seashore a tree top is 
visible now and then, filled with the nests of the 
noisy blue heron. The graceful swan is seen 
occasionally; and wild ducks and geese abound, 
plentiful enough to stir the huntsman's heart. 

This sketchy view of the nature of the country 
and its products may serve as a canvas upon 
which we may throw, in the pages that follow, 
our pictures of life in Korea. 



As the beginnings of Grecian history are inex- 
tricably intertwined with the loves and jealousies 
of the gods, and English history has its early 
legends of the marvels of King Arthur's court, 
so the history of Korea is sufficiently old to lose 
itself in mythical traditions. Mj^stery has always 
enveloped the Ever-White Mountains on the 
northern frontier of the land. The people in the 
olden time, according to tradition, lived without 
a ruler, until a deity descended from heaven and 
made his home at the foot of a sandal-tree upon 
the Ever-White Mountains. The people, recog- 
nizing his superiority, made him their king and 
called him Dan-Kun, or the "Sandal Prince." 
He made his earliest home in Pyeng-yang, where 
to this day there is a temple to his honor, and his 
descendants are said to have reigned for a thou- 
sand years. However, Chinese and Korean tra- 
dition alike affirm that a being somewhat more 
authentic, the Chinese noble, Keja, was the 
founder of the social order of Korea. Keja lived 
in the days of the wicked emperor Chow Sin, the 
"Nero of China." He was one of three wise 
counselors who met with the usual fate of the 


givers of good advice to wicked kings. One was 
killed, one had to flee, and the third was locked 
up in prison, the last-mentioned being Keja. But 
a usurper rid the country of the tyrant, and him- 
self ascended the throne. The new king would 
gladly have given to Keja the highest office in the 
state, but the latter seems to have had as painful a 
conscience as any non-juring rector in the days 
of King William of Orange ; and he declared that 
his duty to the dead king forbade him taking 
office under one whom he considered a usurper. 
Another case, 5^ou see, of the "divine right of 
kings. " The upshot of the matter was that Keja, 
gathering together a band of several thousand 
retainers, the remnants of the defeated army, in 
the year 1122 B. C, while Samuel was still a 
judge at the other end of the continent, went into 
voluntary exile and settled among the aborigines 
of Korea. He gave to his kingdom the name of 
Chosen, which, be it noted, is the modern native 
name for Korea. He vigorously carried forward 
the work, said to have been begun by the myth- 
ical Dan Kun, of giving to the country a civiliza- 
tion such as he had known in China, his sphere of 
influence being Southern Manchuria and Northern 
Korea, between the rivers Liao and Tatong. The 
city of Pyeng-yang is said to contain his grave ; 
and in two of the largest cities of the country, 
Pyeng-yang in the north and Chun- ju in the south, 
I have seen large temples that were erected 
in his honor. Tradition also states that the 


descendants of Keja reigned as kings over what 
has been known as Ancient Chosen. 

The historical muse now apparently suffered 
from a long lapse of memory; for it is not until 
some two hundred years before Christ that the 
narrative is resumed. Tradition from this period 
is replaced by a detailed record. Of Korea's 
ancient history I shall give, in the briefest manner 
only, an outline of important events and changes 
that have been made in the map. These are 
culled from the many scores of pages in which 
Dr. W. E. Griffis, with infinite research, has 
chronicled in his "Corea, the Hermit Nation," 
the history of the country until the era of the 
treaties, some fifteen years ago. The central 
location of Korea, a peacefully inclined country 
with warlike nations to the west, north and 
east, has made its history largely a record of 
invasions from China, Mongolia, and Japan. The 
invaders would come on their conquering career, 
and the people would bend for a time like forest 
trees before the storm. But, the pressure being 
removed, they would resume their national life.; a 
nominal tribute would be paid for a term of years, 
then after a time they would forget they ever had 
been conquered, when another tidal wave of war 
would pour over them from without. 

The Koreans never have shown great valor in 
the fighting of pitched battles, but it has been 
rather in irregular warfare and as garrison fight- 
ers that they have been most successful. It 


was about 107 B. C. that Ancient Chosen, in which 
was embraced the four northern provinces of 
Korea, North and South Pyeng An and North 
and South Ham Kyeng, finally fell before the 
armies of the Han dynasty, and for a century or 
two came under the sway of China. 

The destinies of these northern sections of 
Korea were presently to become affected by the 
incoming of a people from still farther north. 
The Fuyu race had their home in northern Man- 
churia, near the Sungari River. In comparison 
with the surrounding peoples they had a singu- 
larly high order of civilization. From Fuyu 
migrated southward what became the Kokorio 
tribes, whose seat was to the north and west of 
the headwaters of the Yalu, near the Ever-White 
Mountains. About 70 A. D. they began to 
enlarge their borders till they absorbed the 
north of Korea and came into collision with the 
Chinese, whose power they displaced as far as 
the limits of Liao Tung, in Manchuria, which was 
known thereafter as the country of Korio. They 
sustained, until the seventh century, a fitful warfare 
with the Chinese, who had troubles in their own 
land, so that, although they sent an occasional 
invading army, they could never give the contin- 
uous attention to these eastern tribes which was 
needed in order to subdue them. 

Let us consider next the early history of Southern 
Korea, which for present purposes we may consider 
to be all the territory lying south of the Tatong 


River. At tlie time Ancient Chosen was absorbed 
into China, in 107 B. C, all Southern Korea was 
divided into three Han or geographical divisions, 
the Mahan in the western central part, the Ben- 
han in the south, and the Shinhan in the eastern 
central portion of the peninsula. These were 
loosely joined confederacies of aboriginal tribes, 
with spirit worship for their only religion, and with 
a rather low grade of civilization, though it 
should be mentioned that relatively the Shinhan 
people were of a much higher order, for they lived 
in palisaded cities and had already learned the 
art of weaving silk and working iron. It is stated 
that in the first century A. D. works of skill and 
art were sent from here to the Mikado of Japan 
which were greatly superior to anything produced 
in the Island Empire of that day. Probably the 
secret of their advanced state is that refugees from 
China had settled in their midst. But certain 
political changes are to be noted. Kijun, a king 
deposed in old Chosen, fled southward, and 
among the Mahan tribes set up what is known 
among the Koreans as the Pakje, and among the 
Japanese writers as the Hiaksai Kingdom. The 
name Shinhan became changed to the Silla King- 

Inter-tribal war was of frequent occurrence, 
and presently the map of all Korea would need 
readjustment as follows: There are now three 
kingdoms — Korio in the north, Silla in the south- 
east and Pakje in the southwest of the peninsula. 


We are now in the epoch of the three kingdoms. 
The kingdom of Pakje presently became the lead- 
ing state. Here, in 374 A. D., the writings of 
Confucius and Mencius first entered the peninsula 
from China. A decade later Buddhism likewise 
established itself in Pakje. In the following 
century the men of Pakje, having defeated an 
invading aimy from China, their independence 
was virtually recognized by the emperor. About 
660, in the course of their internal warfare, Silla 
appealed to China for aid, which was granted, 
and as the result of the war Pakje became 
absorbed into China. But presently they were 
again in arms, and invoked the aid of Japan 
against Silla. The Japanese sent a fleet, which, 
however, was surprised and sunk by the allied 
armies of China and Silla, with the result that the 
kingdom of Pakje was utterly laid waste. Large 
bodies of the people of Pakje, about 700 A. D., 
emigrated to Japan, introducing, it is supposed, 
the study of the writings of Gautama and 
of the great sage of China. Let us turn once 
more to the kingdom of Korio in the north. The 
government of Korio was feudal, with great nobles 
almost as powerful as the king. In 641 one of 
these murdered the king and seized the throne. 
The Chinese emperor acknowledged his sover- 
eignty, but ordered him to cease the invasion of 
Silla, China's ally. He refused and a great invad- 
ing army came by sea and land from China. By 
the splendid defense of the city of An-ju the men 


of Korioheld their own till the Chinese, from lack 
of provisions, had to withdraw, and, like the fate 
of Napoleon's army in the Moscow campaign, 
thousands of Chinese soldiers died in the winter 
retreat. In 664, however, another invasion was 
more successful, and the kingdom of Korio dis- 
appeared from the map. 

Let us turn our attention next to the kingdom 
of Silla. The island of Kiushiu, upon which is 
located the modern city of Nagasaki, brought 
this kingdom into early collision with Japan; for 
settlers from Silla came to believe that they 
owned the island, which opinion was disputed by 
the men of the dominant Yamato tribe, living in 
the vicinity of Kioto. The result was that in 200 
A. D, the Japanese, under Queen Jingu, marched 
to suppress the so-called Kiushiu "rebels." 
Being convinced that the root of the trouble lay 
in the peninsula, the queen crossed with her army 
to the mainland, overran without resistance the 
kingdom of Silla, and returned to Japan with rich 
tribute. From this time may be said to have origi- 
nated the claim of Japan, so similar to that of 
China, that Korea was their tributary country. 

Intermittent war was waged between the inen 
of Silla and the allied forces of Pakje and Korio 
down to the tenth century, in which occasionally 
the Japanese would assist Pakje, or the Chinese 
would be allied with Silla, or the nations north of 
the peninsula would help Korio. Buddhism, 
introduced into the kingdom in 528, steadily 


grew to be the prevailing religion. One of the 
ablest scholars of Silla is credited with the 
invention of the admirable native alphabet, to be 
mentioned later. Kiong-ju, the capital of the 
kino-dom, developed into a city of great relative 
material splendor and a center of learning and 
refinement whose influence was felt, not only 
throughout all Korea, but as far as the court of 
Japan, teaching the arts of peace. Politically, 
Silla finally came to rule the entire eastern half 
of the peninsula, until, as the last of the three 
kingdoms, she fell, in 934, to give place to united 

In speaking now of united Korea, we need to 
notice that sometime in the ninth century, race 
movements north of the Tumen River brought 
into Northern Korea large numbers of emigrants, 
who soon grew prosperous. Out of these people 
a Buddhist monk named Kung-wo, in 912, raised 
an army under the flag of rebellion; but he was 
presently killed and succeeded by his lieutenant, 
Wang, a descendant of the old royal house of 
Kprio. China was at that time occupied with wars 
at home. Moreover, the government of Silla, the 
one remaining kingdom, had grown decrepit. 
Thus Wang had everything his own way and a 
very few years suflficed to bring the entire 
peninsula under his sway. He chose for the 
site of his capital the city of Song-do, also known 
as Kai-seng, some sixty miles northwest of Seoul. 
Here his descendants reifrned for four hundred 


years. For convenience we may think of this 
period of history as the era of the Song-do 
dynasty. The kingdom took the name of Korio. 
This was the golden age of Korean Buddhism. 
Wang's son and successor speedily formed an 
alliance with China, and sent her tribute. One 
hundred years before the time of Gutenberg the 
Koreans were printing books from wooden blocks, 
whence the art was introduced into Japan. 

Genghis Khan, the Alexander of the Orient, 
who with his Mongol hard riders conquered nearly 
the whole of Asia, sent one of his three armies to 
conquer Korea and Japan. In 1218 the Korean 
king declared himself the vassal of the great 
Mongol chief. A few years later a Mongol 
envoy was murdered in Korea. In answer, an 
invading army came, which divided the country 
under Mongol prefects. The people, as soon as 
they dared, rose and murdered them all. Then 
they were invaded in earnest, and, among other 
exactions, the Korean king was required to do 
homage in person at the conqueror's court. For 
several decades, though always turbulent, the 
Koreans were held under Mongol rule. Kublai 
Khan, the grandson of Genghis, in 1281 forced 
the Koreans to assist in an unsuccessful invasion 
of Japan. Their presence among the invaders 
helped to intensify the hatred between the penin- 
sular kingdom and the island empire. From this 
time, for two or three centuries, the Japanese 
central government being weakened through the 



prevalence of civil wars, Japanese pirates were 
abundant, who drove Korean j unks from the seas 
and made the life of coast dwellers miserable. 
This did not improve the state of feeling in Korea. 

In 1392 there was a change of dynasties which 
brought to the front the Ye dynasty, now on the 
throne of Korea, though the direct line came to 
an end in 1864. The name of the country was 
also changed from Korio to the ancient term, 
Chosen. The Wang dynasty had greatly degen- 
erated, and a tyrant was on the throne. Ye 
Taijo, a military officer, had risen to be the head 
of the army and had become the king's son-in- 
law. Korea for some time had neglected to send 
tribute to the Mongol ruler on the Dragon throne. 
The Mongols had made a half-hearted effort to 
again subdue Korea, but the troops under Ye 
Taijo repelled them. And now a Ming emperor 
was on the throne of China, who demanded 
pledges of vassalage, which the king, against the 
wishes of his people, refused to send. As Korea 
was about to be overwhelmed by the Ming veter- 
ans. Ye Taijo seized the reins of power, deposed 
the king and made his peace with the emperor. 
With Ye Taijo began the new dynasty, whose 
capital city was changed to its present location at 
Seoul. The dress and top-knot of the Ming era 
of China was at that time adopted in Korea, and 
continues in vogue to this day. 

Tribute was sent to China and at first to Japan, 
though later it was discontinued. Japanese pirates, 



with Korean renegades for pilots, still harassed 
the coasts of Korea. But within the peninsula 
life grew easy. The people traded and tilled the 
fields. The officials and the military officers led 
a life of pleasure, and war was the last thing in 
the world for which they were prepared. Like a 
summer holiday, the time glided by imtil the 
close of the sixteenth century. Then came the 
two terrible Japanese invasions, like the sweep 
of a great tidal wave, leaving death and ruin 
behind them and the memory of dreadful deeds. 
In 1585 a master general, Hidcyoshi, had 
arisen in Japan, where for two centuries anarchy 
had reigned. His conquering hosts had brought 
the entire group of islands under the Mikado's 
feudal rule, and now waited on their arms for 
new foes to conquer. He had been given the 
highest rank attainable by a subject, and he was 
incensed that the Koreans, whom he regarded a 
tributary people, had failed to send their greetings 
with those of other vassals. He sent as envoy a 
tactless old warrior, to inquire why tribute of late 
years had ceased to be sent. His mission was a 
failure, and the old man lost his life on his return. 
Another envoy was more successful, and he 
returaed with a tribute-bearing embassy from 
Korea. These, after a long delay, were granted an 
interview by Hideyoshi, and later he sent them, 
together with various presents, an insolent reply 
addressed to their king. He also sent asking the 
rulers of Korea to help them renew peaceful rela- 


tions with China, which the pirates had disturbed. 
The reply from Korea was naturally unsatisfac- 
tory. He then resolved not only to humble 
China, but incidentally to crush Korea. This 
was in 1592. The army which disembarked at 
Fusan was enormous, well-provisioned, and con- 
tained a corps trained in the use of match-lock 
guns, a weapon at that time new to the East. The 
command of the troops was divided between two 
generals; one, Konishi, an impetuou's young man 
and a Roman Catholic; the other, Kato, a fierce 
old fighter and an ardent Buddhist. Each was a 
good leader in his way, but intensely jealous of 
the other. Konishi arriv^ed first. The fortress at 
Tongnai, close to Fusan, quickly fell. He at 
once started north through the peninsula, follow- 
ing the course of the Naktong River as far as 
Sang-ju. Kato arrived a day later, and he fumed 
with rage to learn that his rival had already taken 
his departure. He took the more western road, 
sending detachments into the Chulla and Chung- 
chong provinces. Then began a race between 
the rival armies to reach Seoul. From Sang- 
ju, in the Kiung-sang province, Konishi pushed 
on to Chiong-ju in the Chung-chong province 
and quickly reduced the city. Kato arrived 
here a few days later, but he redoubled his 
energies, so that the very day Konishi entered 
Seoul by one gate, he entered by another. They 
found a deserted city. The king and his court, 
accustomed to spend their days under the spell 


of the flowing- bowl and the attractions of dancing- 
girls, had found themselves unequal to the situ- 
ation and had fled precipitately to Pyeng-yang 
in the north, amidst the drenching showers 
of the rainy season. Soldiers and people vied 
with each other in the speed of their flight to 
the mountains. The king had ordered the rem- 
nants of his army to make a stand at the Rim-chin 
River. Kato and Konishi, after a few days' rest 
in the empty capital, with united forces started 
north. At the Rim-chin River, by a feigned 
retreat, they induced the Koreans to cross, then 
routed them and seized their junks. Here the 
two Japanese leaders, owing to mutual jealousy, 
drew lots and parted company. Kato went to the 
eastern side, while Konishi remained on the west- 
ern side of the peninsula, both of them headed 
for the north. Konishi marched on Pyeng-yang, 
while the king fled across the border at Eui-ju. 
Konishi camped upon the opposite side of the 
Tatong River till the Pyeng-yang troops made 
an unsuccessful night attack upon him, which 
only resulted in betraying the locations of the 
fords in the river to the Japanese, who, promptly 
availing themselves of the information, crossed 
and took the city. Here Konishi, before starting 
for China, awaited the arrival of his fleet, which, 
however, was never to come. vSome Koreans had 
in the meantime been thinking and had evolved a 
new model of fighting-junk. With these they 
lured the Japanese fleet into the open sea and 


proceeded to demolish it. Tliis greatly raised 
the spirits of the Koreans, who had hitherto 
seemed dazed by the rapidity and success of the 
Japanese mov^ements. The king, from Liao Tung, 
was sending importunate appeals for help to the 
court of Peking. A few thousand Chinese troops 
marched down from Liao Tung into Korea. The 
Japanese allowed them to enter the streets of the 
city of Pyeng-yang, and then, from well-chosen 
positions, attacked and cut them to pieces. 
The court of Peking now took the invasion seri- 
ousl)^ They began at once to raise an army of 
40,000 men, and juggled with characteristic 
Chinese diplomacy in order to gain time. About 
all of importance that Kato had done in the 
meanwhile was to capture a couple of Korean royal 
princes. Koreans were beginning to organize 
bands for guerrilla warfare. In 1593 came the 
Chinese army, 60,000 strong, and aided by Korean 
troops attacked for two days the fortifications 
the Japanese had reared on the hills north of 
the city of Pyeng-3^ang. Then Konishi with- 
drew his troops in the night, and retreated to 
Seoul. Small Japanese garrisons were being 
taken by Korean bands. Kato presently yielded 
to the appeals of his colleague, and also returned 
to Seoul. The allies now began to advance on the 
capital. Then came the terrible massacre in 
which the Japanese troops put to the sword hun- 
dreds of non-combatants, drove out others and 
laid waste large portions of the cit3^ Later a 


terrific battle was fought near Seoul, in which 
the allied Chinese and Korean troops were worsted 
and withdrew to Song- do. 

A winter of suffering" from famine and pestilence 
in an exhausted country settled down. At its 
close a treaty of peace was concluded, and the 
Japanese returned to Fusan. 

While negotiations were pending the Japanese 
showed that, while they were willing to be at 
peace with China, they did not consider that 
they were done with unhappy Korea. Kato was 
given orders to capture the walled city of Chin-ju 
in Southeastern Korea. I have seen in that city 
the temple built in honor of a Korean dancing- 
girl who at this period is said to have lured on 
shore a Japanese general and then drowned her- 
self and him at the same time from a flat rock in 
the river. After a most stubborn resistance on 
the part of the Koreans the city was taken and 
large numbers of people were put to the 

Hideyoshi, considering himself insulted by the 
form of address in the letter of the Chinese 
emperor, sent with an embassy, broke off negotia- 
tions and renewed the war in what is known as 
the second invasion of Korea. A Chinese army 
marched down to the city of Nam-eung, in South- 
western Korea. The first battle of the campaign 
was a naval one off the southern coast of the 
coimtry, in which the Korean fleet came to grief. 
Kato and Konishi now moved on Nam-eung, with 


its splendid walls. After some days' fighting the 
walls were scaled by piling up bundles of green 
rice on one side and by climbing a secret mountain 
path on the other. In the fight which ensued 
thousands of Koreans and Chinese were slain, 
whose noses and ears were later cut off and 
shipped to Japan to form the great "ear mound," 
now to be seen under its monument in Kioto. 

About the same time, of^ the south coast of 
Korea, the Chinese and Japanese fleets fought a 
battle, in which the fleet of the latter was anni- 
hilated. This, as in the other invasion, really 
defeated the Japanese, as it destroyed the supply of 
food upon which they relied. The Japanese 
advanced almost to Seoul, but learning of the 
approach of large reinforcements for the Chinese 
army, and their food supply growing scanty, they 
began their retreat, spoiling the houses and tem- 
ples as they went of everything of value. This was 
notably true of the ancient and magnificent 
city of Kiong-ju, once the capital of Silla, 
which they not only spoiled, but burned to the 

They finally rested within the fortifications of 
Ulsan, where part of them remained. This place 
was besieged by an army of the allies, and much 
desperate fighting followed. The siege was 
finally raised owing to Japanese successes else- 
where, and more noses and ears were sent to 
Japan. For a time the war lingered on. Then 
Hideyoshi died and the Japanese troops were 


recalled. This ended the terrible war. Tribute 
was sent for a hundred years or so, and then its 
sending' was discontinued. 

Life passed comparativ^ely uneventful in the 
peninsula until the regions to the north sent forth 
another host of hard riders in the Manchus. In 
1619 the Koreans, who had at first helped the 
Chinese, became convinced that the Manchus 
were destined to triumph — which they did even- 
tually, and seated one of their number on the 
Dragon throne — so they went over to the Manchus. 
But they continued to give real assistance to the 
Chinese. Presently the Manchus found time to 
turn their attention to the Koreans, and twice 
invaded the country as far as Seoul, leaving death 
and destruction behind them. The king and his 
court in each case fled down the Han River to the 
island of Kang-wha, which was captured in the 
second invasion. The king had now to make his 
allegiance actual by furnishing the Manchus with 
grain and providing them with a small army. To 
the new Manchu emperor they also had to send 
yearly a stipulated tribute ; such, for instance, a? 
100 ounces of gold, 10,000 bags of rice, 100 tiger 
skins, etc. 

Thence until the recent past they saw no more 
of invading armies. In 1653 a Dutch ship was 
wrecked off Quelpart Island and the men were 
held as slaves in the peninsula for a number of 
years. One of their number, Hamil, escaped and 
wrote a book upon the country. At the close of 


the last century a Chinese priest, and in 1S35 
French fathers of the Jesuit order of Roman 
Catholics, slipped secretly, at the risk of their 
lives, into the peninsula, to follow up work which 
had germinated from the reading of some religious 
tracts that had found their way into the country 
from China. The account of their labors and 
sufferings is admirably told in Ballet's "Histoire 
de TEglise de Coree." 

The revolutionary nature, from a Korean point 
of view, of the new teachings, which demanded 
nothing less than the abandonment of their most 
sacred custom, the worship of ancestors, together 
with the discovery of what they considered 
treasonable political intrigue in a letter written 
by a Korean convert inviting the invasion of 
western armies, early brought upon the Catholic 
adherents murderous persecution. In 1839 three 
French fathers were killed. And in the minority 
of the present king (while the cruel Tai-won-kun, 
his father, was on the throne as regent), occurred 
the terrible inartyrdoms of 1S66. Fear of foreign 
aggression and the rumor that the Chinese were 
killing the Catholic adherents in their country 
were the inciting causes. Fourteen bishops and 
priests, with thousands of their Korean converts, 
suffered martyrdom. 

In reprisal, in the following year, a French fleet 
appeared off the coast ; but nothing came of the 
expedition beyond a brush with the Korean 
soldiers guarding the island of Kang-wha, in the 


Han River. In 1871 came some American gun- 
boats to avenge the murder of the crew of the 
American schooner "Gen. Sherman," wrecked 
near Pyeng-yang, and after brisk fighting the men 
of the "Monocacy" and "Palos" captured five 
forts on tlie island of Kang-wha. In 1876, the 
present king now reigning in his own right, a 
treaty was signed between Korea and Japan 
which opened the long-closed gates of the "Pler- 
mit Kingdom." With the help of Li Hung 
Chang, Admiral Schufeldt, in 1882, secured a 
treaty between Korea and the United States, and 
treaties with other western nations followed. 
Before the year closed a reactionary insurrection, 
incited by the foreign-haling Tai-won-kun, took 
place, in which a number of Japanese were killed 
and Tai-won-kun was kidnaped by a Chinese 
warship and taken to China. China — although 
before the signing of the treaties, when the 
murders of the French fathers and the crew of 
the "Gen Sherman" were under discussion— had 
declared that she was in no wise responsible for 
the Korean government, yet later she made 
much of the fact that yearly tribute had been sent 
to her, and her "Resident," by subtle diplomacy, 
made himself the power behind the throne, at 
least in checking all progress along western lines. 
Judge O. N. Denny of Oregon, for several years 
adviser to his majesty, although appointed through 
the influence of Li Hung Chang, felt it his duty 
to strongly combat the position assumed by 


China. A party of progressive young nobles, 
rendered desperate by conservative opposition, 
organized the "emente of 1884." High officials 
were killed. For three days the young nobles 
ruled the kingdom. Then Chinese soldiers 
appeared in opposition, and Japanese soldiers 
took the part of the young men. There was fight- 
ing, and the young men had to flee, some to Japan 
and some to the United States, while the 
Japanese, with their citizens in a hollow square, 
fought their way down to the coast. Chinese 
influence now had a clear field. 

The Chino-Japanese war of 1894 is so recent 
that few comments are necessary. An insurrec- 
tion having occurred in the south of the country, 
due to excessive extortion upon the part of the 
officials, the king of Korea asked the help of 
Chinese troops, who were sent by Li Hung 
Chang. This the Japanese resented as contrary 
to the Chino-Japanese treaty, which allowed only a 
legation guard of Chinese in the country. The 
Japanese came with the rallying cry, "The inde- 
pendence of Korea," drove the Chinese out of the 
country, and took the two great forts that guard 
the entrance from the sea to the Korean capital. 
The main events of the war were the sinking of 
the Chinese transport ship, "Kowshing, " bearing 
the British flag, the land battles in Korea at Asan 
and Pyeng-yang, the naval fight off the mouth of 
the Yalu, and the taking of the Chinese fortresses 
at Port Arthur and Wei-hai-wei. Incidentally. 


the Japanese stormed the Korean palace and 
revolutionized the government, putting into the 
government offices Koreans favorable to their 
schemes of reform. Granted the right of Japan, 
which was not conceded at the time by the repre- 
sentatives of the other nations, to march her 
armies into the land of a friendly country and 
overturn its government, the reforms instit^^ted 
by the Japanese were in the main most excellent. 
And that they made an honest effort to carry 
them out was seen in their sending as minister 
Count Inouye, one of the best administrators in 
their country. Then came the blunder of the Ito 
cabinet, so fatal to Japanese interests, in the 
sending of Viscount Miura as his successor, fol- 
lowed by the dreadful murder, October 8, 1895, of 
the queen, known to have been by far the most 
astute politician in Korea. For months the grief- 
stricken king was held a close prisoner in his own 
palace. Then one bright morning, in February 
of the following year, by a clever ruse his majesty 
and the crown prince slipped out of the palace in 
the closed chairs of palace ladies, and fled for 
refuge to the Russian legation. There they met 
with a cordial welcome from the Russian min- 
ister, Mr. Waeber, and his gracious wife, who 
have moved recently to their new diplomatic 
home in Mexico City, and both of whom, I may 
remark in passing-, were highly respected and 
beloved by all the foreigners in Korea. From 
that time onward the influence of the Great 


Northern Empire has steadily increased in the 
peninsula.* At the Russian legation his majesty 
remained for a year, and then moved to his new 
palace within the foreign settlement. It is under- 
stood that this autumn he will assume the title of 
emperor, and that the name of the country will be 
changed from Chosen, the "land of morning 
calm," to that of Daihan, whose significance is 
that of "Great Han," Han being the term which, 
as will be remembered, was applied to each of the 
political divisions of the land in the dawn of its 

* As the book goes to press, word has come that the 
Russians have reversed their policy in Korea. They have 
recalled the thirteen military instructors and the financial 
adviser, who but a short time previous had displaced Dr. J. 
IMcLeavey Brown, and have entered into a compact with 
the Japanese in wliich it is mutually agreed that neither 
country shall nominate military instructors nor financial 
advisers for Korea without a prior agreement between the 
two contracting powers. 



How well I remember the afternoon our steamer 
swung around Deer Island, where the Russians 
have been trying to get a coaling-station, into the 
round harbor of Fusan, disclosing the strange, 
new land to our imaccustomed eyes. I can see 
now the green-covered hills, with here and there 
a white object stalking over their surface that 
suggested only too distinctly the beings that are 
said to creep in church-yards after the night has 
fallen. Koreans almost universally dress in white, 
and the fashion of their garments is unique. Let 
us study the attire of my friend, Mr. Pak, as he sits 
near by all imconsciously puffing away at his long- 
stemmed pipe ; for the smoking of tobacco is com- 
mon among the men and women of Korea. On 
his head is a round, tapering, flat-topped hat, with 
a brim thirteen inches in diameter, woven with 
very fine strips of bamboo, which make it exceed- 
ingly light. This hat is ordinarily black in color, 
but under certain circumstances the mourning 
customs of the country require it to be of a whitish- 
yellow hue. Except in the seclusion of his home 
this hat is always upon his head. As he slips the 
ribbon from imder his chin and removes the hat 
for a moment, we see that his hair is done up in a 



very peculiar way. He has suffered the coarse 
black locks to grow very long, and, I may remark, 
periodically has a large square tonsure shaven on 
the top of his head; but this you would never 
guess as you look at him, for his hair has been 
gathered up and tightly coiled in a top-knot, two 
or three inches long and a single inch in diameter, 
which stands straight up from the crown of his 
head. Bound about his brow, so tightly as to cause 
a slight depression in the forehead, is a band of 
woven horsehair, tv\ro inches wide. This serves 
to hold his hair in place and into it he occasionally 
tucks a straggling lock with a tool that looks 
like a little horn paper-knife. 

As Mr. Pak considers himself rather a gentle- 
man, should you see him in the seclusion of his 
home you would observe on his head a skullcap 
of black horse hair, dented in at the front so that 
it looks like a two-stepped horse block; or again, 
cither with or without this skullcap, you might 
see on him another style of horse-hair hat that 
gives one something of the impression of a ro5^al 
crown that had been flattened under a letter- 
press. Think of a suit of clothes without a 
single button ! Everything is tied up with a girdle 
or with some form of band with one end sewed 
to the cloth. Mr. Pak wears next his body a 
jacket reaching to the waist; and over this, while 
away from home, he wears a full-sleeved loose 
robe that falls to his ankles. Beneath it yoii 
catch an occasional glimpse of a pouch or two, 


and of the case for his scholarly goggles hanging 
from the trousers girdle. The trousers them- 
selves are baggy and are gathered in below the 
knees with a pair of cloth leggings tied at the 
ankles. He wears a pair of stockings padded 
with cotton batting. On his feet are a pair of felt 
sandals which he leaves out of doors whenever 
he enters a house. This is the picture which Mr. 
Pak presents. In the winter he wears clothes 
padded with cotton, including an overcoat, and 
clinging to the sides of his head a black fur-edged 
covering that keeps his ears warm. Here and 
there you see a man with a coat dyed some shade 
of blue or green ; or a black coat showing white 
sleeves. Silk garments are seen occasionally. 
The laboring classes frequently wear for a coat 
only the short jacket; their working trousers fit 
more closely and their feet are shod with sandals 
of straw or twine. Koreans sometimes wear 
leather sandals and, in muddy weather, you will 
see wooden shoes raised by a couple of bits of 
wood three inches above the ground. On the 
chair-coolie's head you will see a roiind-crowned, 
wide-brimmed, black felt hat. Yonder farmer, 
following his ox laden with a towering mass of 
brush for firewood, wears on his head a convex 
arrangement, two feet in diameter, of coarsely- 
woven thin strips of wood which, in shape, looks 
something like the top of a circus tent. 

Of the Koreans it may be said that, while shar- 
ing in many of the characteristics of the other 








inhabitants of the Far East, racially they are a 
type by themselves. In height they average fairly 
well with the people of Northern China. The 
Korean face will bear study. The forehead, 
sufficiently high, shows no lack of brains. The 
bright black eyes are slightly almond-pinched at 
the corners. The nose is rather low and flat, and 
the lips are full. Another type of features, it may 
be remarked, is also frequently seen, especially in 
the north of the country, in which the eyes are 
round and the features are regular, sometimes even 
delicately chiseled ; but the black hair and black 
eyes are practically universal. Mr. Pak wears a 
thin mustache and a few straggling hairs adorn 
his chin — no need for him to shave every day, for 
the simple reason that the Koreans, with few 
exceptions, have nothing or almost nothing on 
their faces to require the use of a razor. 

The Korean houses are peculiar. Generically 
they may be divided into two classes — those roofed 
with a deep thatch of rice straw, seen almost 
universally in the country villages, and those 
covered with a black-tiled roof, usually on the 
homes of the well-to-do. With the exception of 
a very few government and business buildings 
the houses are all one-story structures. The 
framework of a Korean roof is so cleverly mor- 
tised together that not a nail is required in its con- 
struction. In the support of this framework, with 
its burden of thatch, or tiles set in loose earth, 
well-planed log^s of wood cross the rooms over- 


head, and these rest in turn on wooden pillars 
erected at intervals of eight feet. The tiled roofs 
are gracefully curved upward at the corners, and 
both varieties of roof project three or four feet 
beyond the building proper. In the construction 
of the walls a wicker work of twigs is woven, and 
over this mud is plastered, making an adobe wall, 
which, however, is occasionally faced with stone. 
The windows are double. The outside ones 
are latticed and swing on rude hinges, while the 
inner ones slide in grooves, and both sets are 
covered with tough paper that admits a dim light, 
though inserted in them may occasionally be seen 
a single pane or bit of glass. In making their 
floors the Koreans have hit upon quite an eco- 
nomical mode of heating their rooms, although it 
is death to ventilation. By the use of stone and 
mud, perhaps six parallel flues are built up, which 
converge at each end into an opening leading 
outside, one into the chimney, the other into the 
fireplace. These flues are covered over with 
matched stone slabs, and a smooth coating of mud 
is laid over all. When this has been well dried, 
in many cases two layers of paper, of which the 
upper one is thick and well saturated with oil, are 
neatly pasted over the floor. The walls and ceil- 
ing of the room may or may not be covered with 
wall-paper, generally white. At least one room 
has its fireplace so constructed that a couple 
of round, shallow iron kettles for boiling rice or 
heating water may be fastened into them. For 


fuel they burn chopped wood, pine brush or hay. 
In cool weather a dish of coals is always in evi- 
dence to warm the hands and to light the pipes. I 
have had some experience with Korean floors. In 
my country trips, following the native custom, at 
night I simply spread my sleeping arrangements 
on the floor, well sprinkled, however, with "insect 
powder." In a Korean's case, let me remark, 
they would consist of a small wooden block for 
a pillow, a quilt, and possibly a thin mattress. 
If in a room where the ainount of fuel used in 
heating the stones under you can be regulated, 
you experience only a genial glow running up 
and down your spine; but take the case of a Ko- 
rean inn where under you rolls the fire used to cook 
the food of a dozen men, and you feel like a trout 
in the skillet. In whatever other ways Korean 
houses differ, one feature they have in common — 
there is always a square or rectangular inner 
court, carefully shielded from the gaze of the 
public by buildings and high walls. Within this 
court are jars of food and a little bed of flowers. 
The living-rooms are generally on two sides of the 
court. There is the black, smoke-stained kitchen, 
containing the fireplace with the iron pots men- 
tioned above. Here are also cooking utensils, 
and yonder, not unlikely, bundles of fuel piled upon 
the floor of earth. Next to this is a sleeping and 
living room, possibly capable of subdivision with 
sliding, paper-covered doors. At right angles to 
this sleeping-room is a wide, enclosed porch with 


a wooden floor, completely open on the side of the 
court. Here the bowls of crockery or brass are 
stored in brass-trimmed cupboards and the din- 
ing-tables are stacked, and here the women, in 
suitable weather, pass the most of their monot- 
onous existence, seated iipon the well-polished 
floor, for chairs are not used by Koreans. Indeed, 
the only other article of furniture seen is an 
occasional painted or embroidered screen or chest 
more or less decorated, or possibly a g^reas}^ lamp- 
stand holding the little bowl of vegetable oil with 
a bit of wick resting on the edge. Some, how- 
ever, especially in the ports, use little kero- 
sene lamps. Then on the other side of the 
porch will be another living-room Vvdth flues 
under the floor. Next the kitchen, or on the 
third side of the court will be a shed or two, with 
native locks and ring-and-staple fastenings on the 
doors. On the fourth side is the "sarang," a 
room with openings outside, where the male 
friends of the man of the house congregate, with 
never a thought of venturing in to see the ladies 
of the house. Furthermore, it is not considered 
polite for the gentlemen to ask much about them. 
One curious fact is that in the country none but 
members of the aristocratic class are allowed to 
have little verandas on the outside of their sar- 

Dinner is announced, and the little square or 
round tables, twelve inches high, are found steam- 
ing in the porch of the inner quarters, or if friends 


of the host are oat in the "sarang" two or three 
laden tables will be passed in for them at a 
window. Everyone gets down upon the floor 
in the usual Korean sitting posture, cross-legged 
like a tailor, sometimes one and sometimes two 
at a table. The first course, if the occasion be an 
especial one, is a bowl of soup. The heaping 
bowl of rice is then discussed, either with the brass 
spoon or chop sticks. And the chop-sticks de- 
scend every now and then upon the contents of the 
little side dishes, the brine-soaked "mu," or turnip, 
the bits of dried fish or meats, a species of sauer- 
kraut composed of cabbage, shrimp, ginger, onion, 
red pepper, salt, etc., with an occasional dip into 
the bean sauce (a la Worcestershire). For liquid 
food he drinks cold water, or the water in which 
the rice has been cooked. Poor people often eat 
with their rice only the sauerkraut or pickled 
turnip. Korean etiquette allows much smacking 
of the lips while eating; but if dining out in the 
sarang, in the presence of a visitor, politeness 
requires him either to offer him food or excuse 
himself for eating. Koreans also eat with the 
rapidity of a traveler at a railway lunch counter, 
or a table full of threshers. 

Linguistically the Koreans are furnished with 
a language that takes second place to neither 
the Chinese nor Japanese languages in difficulty 
of acquisition. The young Westerner entering 
upon its mastery has just one thing in his favor — 
he does not know what he is getting into. Three 


modes of expression are in use among the Ko- 
reans — the colloquial, the book language and the 
Chinese written characters. Let us first notice 
the colloquial — the language of the people — which, 
when reduced to writing, is known as the 
"Unmun," The Unmun alphabet comprises 
twenty-eight letters, which are combined in syl- 
lables that are written one under the other in ver- 
tical columns and are read from the back end to 
the front of the book. Korean scholars affect to 
despise this style of writing, its use in former 
years having been confined largely to the printing 
of flashy novels, though of late its use in the 
printing of missionary literature and certain 
newspapers has helped to give it dignity. Struc- 
turally the colloquial may be termed agghitinative. 
Many of the root forms are derived from the 
Chinese. The noun endings rival the Greek in 
number, though used rather carelessly in ordinary 
conversation. The verbal endings mount into the 
hundreds, and prepositions, conjunctions and 
endings that mean the same as our marks of 
punctuation have a way of sticking to the root 
formations. One thing which multiplies the 
number of verbal endings is the custom of the 
country that gradations in age and social position 
require a varying use of high, low and middle 
forms. A teacher in one of the girls' schools in 
Seoul one day found two of her little girls in a 
violent quarrel over the question of which should 
use high language to the other. "I am the 


older," cried one; "I am the bigger," sobbed the 

Second, the book language, after the manner of 
Latinized English, is largely composed of words 
derived from the Chinese. It is written in the 
Unmun character and is used in a few transla- 
tions of the Chinese classics, in parallel sections 
with the orginal. It is also employed in certain 
other moral writings. 

Third, in the Chinese characters the scholars 
read the literature of China, and do their letter 
writing. All government documents are written 
or printed in Chinese. 

Speaking of gradations in social position, cor- 
responding to the "literati" in China and the 
"samurai" in Japan, the Koreans have an aristo- 
cratic class know as "yangbans. " They are the 
scholars, the possessors of blue blood, the holders 
of government offices. They are ardent Con- 
fucianists and are intensely conservative. 
Among their own class they are hospitable and 
punctiliously polite. The poor yangbans have a 
way of sponging upon their more fortunate rela- 
tives and friends. They let their finger-nails grow 
long to show their contempt for labor, and they 
despise the classes below them in the social scale. 
I saw a young man with a stone in his hand 
chase another man all over a village one night, 
because the latter, belonging to a lower social 
grade than he, had dared to smoke a pipe in his 


Slavery exists in a mild form in the country. 
For the most part slaves are attached to families 
as bond-servants, much as was the custom in Old 
Testament times. One class of slaves are men 
and are the hereditary property of rich nobles. 
In another class the women alone are counted 
as property, and canredeein themselves or secure 
their freedom by leaving in their place an able- 
bodied daughter in the state of bondage. A third 
class are the female slaves attached to magis- 
tracies — feinale criminals, or the wives of crim- 
inals. They are truly to be pitied, for their 
degradation passes description. 

The government of Korea is an absolute mon- 
archy. The Icing, however, calls to his assistance 
a council of state composed of a chancellor and 
various ministers and councilors. Certain of the 
departments have foreign advisers, two of whom, 
Dr. J. McLeavey Brown, adviser to the finance 
department, as well as chief commissioner of the 
customs service, and General C. G. Greathouse, 
the former U. S. Consul General at Yokohama 
and present adviser to the law department, have 
of late rendered distinguished service to the Ko- 
rean Government. The Korean troops in Seoul 
are at present under the instruction of three com- 
missioned and ten non-commissioned Russian 
officers. Each of the thirteen provinces has its 
governor, with a proper number of assistants; 
and each of the 339 magistracies in these provinces 
has its magistrate with a force of writers and 


runners. Every village has its head, generally 
an old man. Official honesty is apparently a 
thing almost imknown in Korea, and the poor 
people lead a sorry life ; for not only must the 
regular taxes be paid, but they are subject to the 
further exactions of officials, runners, inspectors, 
policemen, soldiers, not to mention the bands of 
robbers that roam the country every winter and 
spring. Much of the so-called laziness of the 
Koreans is simply apathy, produced by the inse- 
curity of property rights. With the exception of 
a few rich merchants and men who own large 
estates in the country, the great mass of the 
people are very poor and they live a hand-to- 
mouth existence upon a scale which Westerners 
would consider impossible. Day laborers, when 
they can get work, receive per day an amount 
equivalent to from ten to fourteen cents of our 
money, and upon this support their families. 
Money goes further there, however, the unit of 
their coinage being the "five cash" piece, a 
round brass coin with a hole in the center, worth 
about one tenth of an American cent. 

But if the Koreans have their troubles, they also 
have their pleasures. They are great lovers of 
nature, and live out of doors much of the year. 
The men are fond of picnics. Several scholars 
will go to some picturesque spot and there com- 
pose spring poetry in Chinese. Or a party will 
spend hours in the practice of archery, at which 
they are quite skillful. If you happen to be in the 


country upon the occasion of a spring or fall holi- 
day, you will hear the rhythmical clang of a brass 
gong, the staccato note of a tambourine beaten 
with a stick, or possibly the shrill tones of a 
brass clarionet. Drawing near you will see a 
circle of young men and half -grown boys dancing, 
some of whom, perhaps, are dressed in female 
attire. At a certain time each spring the Ko- 
reans indulge in stone fights, a rather rough kind 
of sport. Two sides face each other with leaders 
wearing padded hats and carrying clubs. These 
skirmish awhile with an occasional interchange of 
blows, and then the two sides rain stones at each 
other, much like a snow-ball fight. Presently, with 
a mighty roar, one side begins to drive the other 
back. Spectators catch tlie enthusiasm and join 
the attacking force. The fun waxes fast and 
furious — so furious that not infrequently some 
one is maimed or killed. Nothing that I have 
seen in Korea has given me such an impression 
of the latent force and fire in the usually apathetic 
Korean as this somewhat brutal sport. 

Magistracies often keep a native orchestra. 
"Keesangs, " or dancing girls, handsome, edu- 
cated, dissolute, whose art consists largely in pos- 
turing, enliven the feasts of the official class. Old 
men while away the time playing a native game 
resembling chess. It must sadly be admitted that 
Koreans have their vices. Eying is universal. 
Generations of practice have given them a won- 
derful skill in the art. Business men continually 


cheat and overreach in their business transac- 
tions. A friend of mine, now a worthy Christian, 
told me that formerly his thought every morning 
as he awoke used to be, How can I cheat someone 
today? and that attitude of mind, I am led to 
believe, is common to a large class of Koreans. 
In spite of heavy penalties, stealing is frightfully 
common. Professional thieves carry great knives, 
and are handy in their use. Gambling, in spite of 
severe punitive laws, is widely practiced. Our 
harmless dominoes in Korea are used only for 
gaming purposes. Cards are also used that are 
long strips of cardboard the width of one's finger, 
bearing Chinese characters. Men become so 
frenzied with the gaming passion that, after 
losing everything else, they are known to stake 
and even lose their wives into slavery. The 
drink curse is widely prevalent in Korea. The 
liquors are of two kinds; one white and thick, the 
other a clear liquid. They are made from rice, 
barley or wheat. Saloons are frequent, with 
sauerkraut and liquor for sale. Maudlin sots or 
drunken brawls, with men tugging at each other's 
top-knots are, alas! a common sight upon the 
streets. Their thought is low-planed. The 
social vice prevails, and vice that is unspeakable. 
In a word, the Koreans have every vice possi- 
ble to a mild-mannered, heathen nation, with the 
one exception of the smoking of opium. Let us 
turn to a subject more pleasing — the woman of 
Korea. She is frequently good-looking. She 


parts lier glossy hair in the middle and combs it 
straight back, arranging it in a coil behind, 
at the base of the head, throngh which she thrusts 
an ornamental rod some six inches long, fre- 
quently made of silver. Her clothes are much 
like the men's, with trousers, padded stockings 
and sandals; but the jacket is very short, and 
she wears in addition an overskirt, high-waisted 
and reaching to within a few inches of the 
ground. A jaunty little cap wath broad ribbons 
hanging behind is sometimes worn. In probably 
no respect does the life in heathen countries and 
in the lands that have felt the uplift of Gospel 
truth show so marked a contrast as in the posi- 
tion that is given to their women. In Korea, 
except where the influence of the missionaries 
has been felt, no man thinks of educating his 
daughters. Nearly every village has a Chinese 
school for boys; but not one for girls. With the 
exception of a very few rare instances, such as 
the lamented queen, no women outside of the 
keesang class have received a mental training. 
Here and there a woman can read Unmun. "Cus- 
tom," hoary with age, that arch-enemy of all 
originality and progress, in Korea as in other parts 
of the Orient, fetters the people even to the 
minutest details of their life ; and custom requires 
that the Korean women lead a life of great seclu- 
sion. From the time that the child first buds into 
the maiden until her face wears the tracery of 
old age, the respectable Korean woman is largely 


a prisoner within the four walls of the court of 
the women's quarters. Let it be noted that the 
women in country villag-es, middle-aged women 
of the lower class, and Christian women in their 
attendance upon church meetings allow them- 
selves greater freedom of movement. Occasionally 
on the streets may be seen a woman's closed 
sedan chair, with dangling, fan-like little red 
ornaments, and with a couple of coolies striding 
between the chair poles. Or again a few women 
will be seen with long gr.een cloaks or white 
skirts drawn over their heads so closely that of 
their features only a shining black eye is visible. 
But these occasional visits to the houses of 
relatives or friends are generally paid at night. 
In Ys'hat a narrow world do they pass their lives! 
And then the women are universally spirit- 
worshipers, and live in constant dread of evil 
spirits. In view of these facts, can we wonder 
that the habitual thinking of Korean women is 
petty, or superstitious, or vulgar? Poor things! 

It is easy to see, then, what a mental, moral and 
spiritual uplift the Gospel message brings to the 
women of the country. 

The girl is married when a mere child, between 
the ages of twelve and sixteen, to a youth she has 
never known, and, as is the case in China, comes 
under the sway of her mother-in-law. If her 
mother-in-law is kind and her husband is good to 
her, a fair measure of home happiness awaits her. 
But the customs of the country all favor the 


married man rather than the married woman. 
He may divorce her upon any one of seven 
grounds — such, for instance, as inabiUty to live at 
peace Avith her mother-in-law, or the absence of 
little ones from the home circle, especially the 
boys so necessary for the continuance of the 
ancestral worship. Then again, Confucianism 
throws its semi-religious sanction over the 
practice of the men's taking secondary wives or 
concubines. Large numbers of men in the middle 
and upper classes therefore take one or more con- 
cubines, whom they keep either in the same house, 
or in a separate building not far away, or in 
another village. As the man has some choice in 
these secondary attachments, it is very apt to be 
the case that the poor first wife has the respect- 
ability and the concubine has the love. Once 
again, marriage customs bear heavily upon the 
women, in that it is not considered respectable 
for a widow to marry again ; although it is to be 
admitted that many a young widow, rather than 
face the burdens of life, becomes a concubine. 

In the country, women are allowed much social 
freedom. I always like to watch a company of 
them hulling rice. The machine consists of a 
piece of timber shaped like a two-tined fork, and 
is hung on a pivot, with a cross-piece on the 
handle end that forms a hammer to pound the 
rice. One woman feeds the hole, where the ham- 
mer strikes, with unhulled rice. Then the bevy 
of women take hold of the straw ropes hanging 


in the shed; they step upon the two prongs and 
the hammer end rises; they step off and the ham- 
mer falls. Step on, step off. Chatter and laugh- 
ter make the air melodious. Let us further con- 
sider the pursuits of the women. Korean house- 
wives are accomplished needle-women. The 
mode of washing and ironing clothes is peculiar. 
Before washing, the seams are ripped and the 
clothes are taken to pieces. Then beside the well, 
or the brook outside the city, women of the lower 
classes or the servants of the rich beat the clothes 
into whiteness with flat wooden paddles. Iron- 
ing is done in the inner quarters of the house, 
frequently into the small hours of the night. The 
ironing is done with a large wooden roller that 
may or may not be laid on a smooth block of 
stone. Two or four ironing-sticks, like police- 
men's clubs, are used, depending upon whether 
one or two women do the ironing. The pieces 
of cloth are laid about the roller and, with a rhyth- 
mical tapping not unpleasant to hear, the clothes 
are beaten stiff and smooth. Each autumn the 
thrifty housewife puts down great jars of "sauer- 
kraut" and pickled turnip for the winter use of 
the family. 

Little children in Korea certainly lead a happy 
life ; for whatever their other faults Korean m-en 
and women love their little children and are kind 
to them. These little ones ride astride of the 
backs of father, or mother, or the six-year-old 
brother or sister. In summer they toddle about, 


as someone has remarked, "dressed in nothing 
but a hair ribbon," or at most a short, quilted 
jacket. When the New Year's season arrives, in 
February, their fond mothers deck them out with 
every kind of gayly-colored clothes. Would that 
they might always remain so innocent and happy! 
The small boy in Korea is much like the small 
boy everywhere ; his business in life is to play. 
He makes a small hoop with a handle and fills 
it full Vvdth a mass of cobwebs. Then with it he 
catches insects. Or again, you will see him with 
the end of a string tied about some large insect 
which he allows to fly to the end of its tether. 
In one or two instances I have seen him with a 
centipede on the end of a string. I am sorry to 
say he sometimes gambles, pitching "cash" at a 
mark. At the New Year's season the sky is 
bright with his tailless kites, made square with a 
hole in the middle. The string is wound on a 
four-armed reel that has something of the shape 
of the reel of a binder, only it has a long 
handle on one side fastened into the hub. The 
boy, grasping the handle with one hand and a 
corner of one of the arms with the other, twirls 
this reel backward and forward very skillfully 
and makes his kite go about the heavens in any 
way he pleases. With these kites they fight, 
crossing strings in the effort to saw each other's 
string in two. And the custom is that the kite 
that floats helplessly away anyone may keep 
who can catch the severed string. Girls are fond 


of playing at see-saw. A hag full of sand perhaps 
a foot high is set on the ground. Across this is 
laid a plank. Stretched alongside, at a proper 
height for the children to grasp and steady them- 
selves, is a rope. Two girls stand erect upon the 
ends. One gives an upward spring and, as she 
alights on the board, gives the other an upward 
toss, who, as she alights in turn, throws the first 
girl aloft a little higher. And so the sport goes 
on, until in their upward flight each girl is thrown 
two or three feet into the air. Frequent rests 
are necessary, but the sport is the occasion of 
much glee. In the springtime swings are set up, 
which boys and girls alike enjoy. But the chil- 
dren must work as well as play. Many of the boys 
go to school to learn to read and write Chinese. 
Other boys in the country must trim branches 
from the pine shrubs or rake the grass on the hill 
sides to bind into great bundles of fuel, or scare 
the armies of English sparrows away from the 
yellow rice fields; while the girls must learn to 
cook and do fine needle-work. Although Korean 
children show great outward respect to their par- 
ents and to elderly people, I do not think that they 
are trained to obey very well. Respectful greet- 
ings upon the part of children to older people are, 
in the case of the boy, a complete prostration with 
the hands on the ground and the forehead rest- 
ing on the hands; the girl sinks downward in a 
courtesy till her finger tips touch the floor; she 
then steadily rises, folds her left hand beneath 


her right arm and slowly sinks down as before. 
All boys and bachelors wear their hair in a 
braid down the back. When the latter marries he 
is allowed to put tip his hair and wear a hat. I 
have been amused when sitting in a sarang with 
a group of men to see a slip of a boy with his hair 
done up in a top-knot enter, and note how respect- 
ful they were ; a moment later a fine, sturdy young 
man, perhaps twenty-five years of age, with a 
braid down his back, appeared, and they all used 
low talk to him. The one was married, and the 
other was not. Korean men have three names, a 
boy name, often an opprobrious term, like "pig," so 
that the spirits may not become jealous of the 
honor shown him. The second and third are men's 
names, given when his hair is put up at the 
time of his marriage; one by which he is to be 
known familiarly among his friends, the other 
his formal, legal name. Girls have pretty names, 
meaning plum-blossom, treasure, etc. After 
their marriage they are known only as so-and-so's 
wife or the mother of so-and-so. 

Just a word now about some of the character- 
istics of the Koreans. They are by nature rather 
a kindly people, and they treat us foreigners on 
the whole with much respect. It shows itself in 
such ways as this: A foreigner enters one of the 
tortuous lanes in which Seoul abounds, and 
which happens to be closed. Immediately a man 
or a small boy steps forward, politely explains 
that you cannot go that way and promptly points 


out to you the proper road, and that, too, with no 
apparent thought of remuneration. With all their 
many and glaring faults, one readily learns to love 
the Koreans. They are a hospitable people and 
can be exceedingly polite. Their politeness, too, 
has a certain manly tone about it that one likes. 
They are a leisure-loving people, full of curi- 
osity and fond of sight-seeing. Men will some- 
times leave their families and be gone from home 
for months wandering about the country. Time 
is no object to them. Their actual knowledge 
of the world they live in being small, and news- 
papers, until the last few years, being non-exist- 
ent, their minds have been immensely interested 
with very petty things. For instance, men sitting 
by the roadside can tell every mark on a horse 
that has recently passed by. News has a wonderful 
way of traveling from mouth to mouth. Let a 
foreigner go down into the country to a certain 
place and by nightfall every village within a ra- 
dius of twenty miles is discussing him and all the 
particulars connected with his arrival. It is inter- 
esting to watch two Koreans engaged in a dis- 
pute, for instance, over a business transaction. 
Their voices are high pitched ; they gesticulate 
violently; they fairly rage at each other. One 
unaccustomed to their ways expects an immediate 
casualty of at least a broken skull. But as Mr. 
Gale remarks, only a few minutes elapse before 
they are seated at each end of a piazza quietly 
smoking their pipes. I have noticed something 


similar in the scoldings fathers give their sons. 
The tones of the reproof were fairly blood-curd- 
ling. A moment later and the furious parent was 
as placid as a moonlit lake. A Korean gentleman 
rarely scolds other men ; he lets his servant do it 
for him. This suggests another trait. Koreans, 
especially of the upper clases, have a distaste for 
unpleasant things; and if they have a hard thing 
to do or say they invariably get a third party to 
do it for them, wherever it is possible. Koreans 
who have learned to read a book or two in 
Chinese are apt to be inordinately conceited. As 
in China, a selfish individualism is only too char- 
acteristic of the great mass of the people. No 
man receives credit for being disinterested in any- 
thing he does. Patriotism and public spirit are 
practically undeveloped qualities in the minds of 
the Koreans. In political life there is incessant 
intrigue on the part of those out of office to dis- 
place by fair means or foul the holders of govern- 
ment position ; and once in office their principal 
thought is that of the boa-constrictor — the desire to 
"squeeze" the people. Let it be noted, however, 
that there is now a small progressiv^e party in Ko- 
rea that finds its inspiration largely in a number 
of young men who have either held official position 
or studied for a number of years in the United 
States. Their mouth-piece is the Independent^ 
a tri-weekly newspaper published in the ver- 
nacular by Phillip Jaisohn, M.D., an able young 
Korean nobleman, medically educated in the 


United States, who has held a position in one 
of the departments in Washington as an expert in 
microscopy, is a inember of a Presbyterian church 
in Washington, is a naturalized American citizen, 
and is married to an American wife. At present, 
in addition to piiblishing two newspapers, one in 
Korean and one in English, he holds the position 
of adviser to the Department of Agriculture and 

One who knows the Korean people, in spite 
of all that has been or can be said of their 
faults and vices, and of their listless apathy, so 
largely the result of the conditions under which 
they live, cannot help feeling that they have in 
them the capacity for a high development when 
once the truths of the Gospel have permeated the 
mass of the people and when they can live in 
security of life and property, imder wise laws 
righteously administered. 



Among most peoples the wedding forms one of 
the most notable events in social life, and the 
Koreans are no exception to the rule. One bright 
morning in March, several years ago, we were 
informed that an opportunity was afforded us to 
witness a wedding conducted according to the 
Korean custom. The invitation was promptly 

In company with two friends I took my way to 
a Korean hut near the wall, where a youth and 
his betrothed were about to make their bows to 
each other. Just as we arrived, the good-natured, 
round-faced fellow was donning his outer robes 
in an open space in front of the house. 

According to Korean custom, he wore a cos- 
tume like that which officials wear in royal audi- 
ences — one which he had hired for the occasion. 
The robe was a dark green, and bore "placques" 
with a pair of embroidered storks on the breast 
and back. About the wearer, like a hoop, was 
the black enameled belt, and on his head was a 
"palace-going" hat with wings on its sides, and 
finally he got himself into shoes that looked like 
"arctic" overshoes, two or three sizes too large 

for him. 



At last he was ready to go indoors. An attend- 
ant preceded him with a red, flat-brimmed hat on 
his head, about his neck a string of beads, and in 
his arms a goose. The goose's feet were tied, 
and fastened through her beak was a little skein 
of red silk. In the two marched — three perhaps 
I ought to say. The court of the house had an 
awning of gunny-sacking suspended over it. Here 
a red table stood, with two red ornaments on it 
which looked like tall candlesticks, or sealed 
vases. The court was full of Korean men, 
women and children. 

In front of the table the bridegroom bowed two 
or three times in the performance of a religious 
ceremony. And singular bowing it was. He 
gently lowered himself upon his knees, and then 
bringing forward his hands upon the mat, he 
bowed till his head touched the back of his hands. 
Then gracefully he resumed the standing pos- 
ture. The last time he bowed he sank with the 
goose in his arms. I am told that the goose is 
the symbol of fidelity in Korea, it being popularly 
believed that if a wild goose dies its spouse never 
mates again. 

By special invitation we then assumed a position 
upon the porch of the little hoiise, facing the 
court. A mat was placed upon the steps, con- 
necting with another mat on the porch. Pres- 
ently the groom came to the front of the steps 
and stood there, while our attention was called 
to the room opening upon the porch. This rooin 


was filled with women, mostly young and more 
or less g-ood-looking. I had canght a peep at the 
bride as she sat on a cushion. 

But now she was coming out. Two middle- 
aged women accompanied her, each holding one 
of the bride's arms and guiding her steps, for her 
eyes were sealed completely. Clear up to her jetty 
hair, the face of the petite bride was painted a 
ghastly white. In the middle of her forehead 
and of each cheek were painted great, round, red 
spots ; her lips were also bright red. 

Her dress consisted of a bright green waist over 
a brilliant red skirt. Fastened through the coil 
of hair on the back of her smoothly combed head 
was a hair-pin, consisting of an ornamental rod, 
perhaps fifteen inches long. I remember it, for I 
almost got caught on it, in brushing by her later 

Upon her head was a crown-like cushion, sur- 
mounted by half a dozen nodding sticks of beads, 
possibly three inches long. Down her back hung 
two broad brown ribbons, caught together with 
two ornaments, one a smooth, rectangular red 
stone, and the other a rosette of white jade, a 
stone precious in the East. 

This little, painted, gorgeous creature was 
guided out, as I have said, by two middle-aged 
women. Across the mat they went, and at the 
end of the porch they turned the little bride about, 
and laid over her clasped hands a white handker- 

Korean Young Women. 


The groom now stepped to the other end of the 
mat and the principal part of the wedding cere- 
mony began. The bride made her bows. The 
attendants raised her arms till the small, 
draped hands lay level with the sightless eyes. 
Then, partially supported by the matronly 
women, she sank in a courtesy so profound that 
at the lowest point she was almost in a sitting 
posture. Then in the same slow, solemn man- 
ner she rose again. Her face at this time, and 
indeed during all the ceremony, was as expres- 
sionless as the face of a sphinx. 

Three times this profound courtesy was repeated. 
Then it was the groom's turn. His face had 
more feeling in it than hers. Indeed, it looked 
flushed and anxious; much as a European's face 
might have appeared imder corresponding circum- 
stances. Our Korean groom now responded to 
his bride's greetings with two and a half bows, in 
which his head almost touched the floor. Then 
the bride and the groom were made to sit down 
upon their respective ends of the mat. 

A table stood against the wall laden with what 
Koreans consider delicacies, but what they seemed 
to our perverted foreign taste I will refrain from 
stating, out of politeness to our host. Bread look- 
ing like a white grindstone, dishes of white, 
stringy vermicelli, bowls of "kimche," a native 
sauerkraut, candies, and a bottle of native liquor 
were there. 

The couple were now sitting. The woman 


nearest the table took a cup and filled it with 
liquor. This she touched to the bride's draped 
hands, and presented it to the groom. He took a 
sip, and handed it back. She refilled the cup, and 
they repeated the ceremony to the third time. 

Then came a curious performance. The "go- 
between" had a part to do. She was the old lady 
with gray hair who had literally "made the 
match." She had attended to all the necessary 
preliminaries, even to doing the courting for the 
young people. The goose again appeared upon 
the scene. This time the skein of red silk had 
been removed from the holes in her beak. 

Another woman held the bird, while the aged 
match-maker filled her hand with soft, stringy 
vermicelli, and offered it to her gray birdship. 
The goose eagerly dabbed away with her beak 
until she was nearly satisfied, when the old lady 
finished the ceremony by eating herself what was 
left in her hand. 

All this had been done in the doorway leading 
into the bridal chamber. This room was now 
cleared of its young and middle-aged ladies, who 
were compelled to join the crowd in the court. 
To the bridal chamber the groom repaired and, 
removing his wedding robes, which made him look 
like an official, assumed garments more befitting 
his rank. His new costume consisted of a new 
white robe, and one of the ordinary broad- 
brimmed, conical-crowned hats. 

He then came out, and the bride retired to the 


room, to resume again her cushion on the floor; 
but just before she subsided into her placid medi- 
tations, her two attendants required her to bow to 
her foreign guests, and three times, without the 
movement of a muscle in her face, she sank to the 
floor in profound courtesies. We did not know 
just what was required of us at this juncture, but 
one after another, with perplexity written on our 
faces, we saluted the bride with American bows. 
They were just arranging boxes with the view 
to feasting us with Korean delicacies, when the 
lady of our party reached the conclusion that it was 
time to retire. The motion was carried without 
debate, and amid many hospitable protests we 
made our farewells in our best available Korean 
phrases and withdrew, wishing for our hosts every 
possible blessing. 



If you were to stroll down the street leading- 
from the West Gate to the center of the city of 
Seoul, and with observant eye should note the 
contents of the shops placed here and there along 
the way, you would notice at first a number of 
general shops. And in these booths, wide open 
to the street, you would see an assortment of 
goods probably something like this: a few articles 
of food, fine-cut tobacco, matches, hair ornaments, 
bright-colored pockets that look like tobacco 
pouches, and a few story books. It is noticeable 
that in these cluttered displays only a limited range 
of goods is to be seen. Further down the street, 
as you near the tower of the great city bell, the 
shops grow more substantial, and to see the goods 
of many of them you must go inside. In these 

* This chapter is a picture of business conditions before 
the late war. During the "reform era," instituted by the 
Japanese, the office of magistrate of the market was abol- 
ished, the pu-sang office ceased to be numbered among the 
departments of the government, and the power of the 
merchants' and peddlers' guilds was broken. But since 
the conservative reaction set in, it is understood that the 
guilds have regained much of their ancient standing and 



shops a merchant sells only one kind of goods, as 
paper, or shoes, or silk. But in the same shop 
several different shop-keepers may have their 
stalls. These men are the members of the 
merchant guilds. Any Korean can open a little 
general store. But certain lines of goods can be 
handled only by the members of trade guilds. 

There are many different guilds corresponding 
to the different kinds of goods sold. For instance, 
the sandal trade, as distinguished from the trade in 
straw or string-shoes, is entirely in the hands of the 
shoe guild. One thing which seems curious to our 
Western notions is that the different kinds of cloth 
goods are handled each b}^ a separate guild. There 
are guilds for cotton goods, for colored goods, for 
grass cloth, the gauzy summer goods, plain silks 
and figured silks. Then there are guilds for cot- 
ton, dyes, paper, hats, head-bands, rice, crockery, 
cabinets, iron utensils and brass ware. These 
are some of the principal trades of which the 
guilds have a monopoly. These guilds not only 
regulate their trade, but are mutually helpful in 
certain emergencies. For example, in case one 
of their number dies, they give financial aid 
to his family. Each guild has a head; and he 
with his servants is to be constantly found for the 
transaction of business at the guild headquarters. 
Should a man desire to enter into business in one 
of these monopolized trades, he must make appli- 
cation to the head of the guild. Should he prove 
acceptable, he must pay an entrance fee to the 


guild of, say $20. The head of the guild then 
furnishes him with a certificate of membership, 
duly made out and stamped with the seal of the 
guild, and the guild members come around and 
offer him their congratulations. He can then 
rent his stall or room and open up his wares 
whenever he likes. But suppose a man, without 
asking leave of the guild, should undertake to 
open a shop for the sale of silk or rice, what 
would happen? All would go well for a time; 
then one day his guild certificate would be called 
for. None being produced, a tempestuous time 
would ensue, the probable end of which would be 
that the guild would confiscate the contents of the 
shop. At all events, in a day or two there would 
be one less merchant in the silk trade. How- 
ever, in this connection, a curious custom should 
be mentioned. From the twenty- fifth day of the 
last month of the Korean year, that is, during the 
last five days of the old year, and through the 
first five days of the new, Korean custom allows any 
one whatever to sell any kind of goods he pleases. 
Why it should be so I cannot tell, only such is the 
tiine-honored custom. This is the reason why 
the displays of shining brass ware are to be seen 
in all their glory upon the streets around Chong- 
No (the bell-tower place) at the New Year's 
season, while at any other time you must hunt for 
them among the shops, should you desire to see 
the handsome ware. While the guilds can 
cope successfully with intruders of their own 


people, they are powerless in the competition 
with the Chinese and Japanese merchants. 

Members of guilds are required to pay a 
monthly tax to the head of their guild. 

The government is accustomed to collect taxes 
from the guild, but applies directly to the head 
of the guild for payment. The patriotism of the 
guilds was shown upon the occasion of the burial 
of the dowager queen, when each guild added a 
large and beautiful silken banner to the gorgeous 
pageantry of the funeral. 

Superior to either the guilds or their chiefs is 
an official appointed by the government to rule 
over the merchants. He may be termed the 
magistrate of the market. He holds the rank of 
tan-sa. At his government office he settles dis- 
putes between merchants, and acts as a judge in 
matters pertaining to commercial law. Not 
unlike the merchant guilds are the artisan guilds; 
what we would call at home "trades unions." 
But they are spoken of by a different name; for 
instance, the carpenters' guild or union would be 
known as the "room of the carpenters." Trades 
unions exist of the carpenters, the masons, the 
tilers, the chair-coolies, the rice-coolies, etc. 

We come now to a form of guild, which, on 
account of its peculiar features, is deserving of a 
separate treatment. This is the peddlers' guild, 
known as the pu-sang guild. These need to be 
distinguished from the po-sangs, who are also mer- 
chants, who travel from market to market in the 


country, but who in tlieir organization are simply 
tlie ordinary guild adapted to the conditions for 
selling goods in the country. The pu-sang^ or 
peddlers* guild, which we are now to consider, is a 
very large and powerful guild. In the country 
villages shops are rarely found, but the buying 
and selling of merchandise is done upon special 
market days. The country has been districted 
among conveniently placed market towns, in 
groups of five each, so that once in five days each 
of these tov;ns has its market day. And peddlers, 
for the most part belonging to this peddlers' guild, 
keep traveling around these five-day circuits, carry- 
ing their stock of goods, one upon his shoulders, 
another on an ox, and still another on pony-back. 
But the peculiarity in the pii-sang guild consists 
in their connection with the government. In a 
truly feudal sense are their services at the dis- 
posal of the government. Not one office, but 
the higher officials of any government office, feel 
at liberty to call in these peddlers for special serv- 
ices. Is detective work required, these roving 
peddlers can be made use of. Does the king 
desire to visit the ancestral graves, in the many 
preparations which the occasion requires, such 
for instance as the making ready the city streets 
and country roads, the peddlers' services are 
employed. Or in the country, is a special escort 
required for the guest of the magistrate, the serv- 
ices of the pu-sangs are called into requisition. 
Mr. Gilmore's "Korea from its Capital," narrates 


how Lieutenant Foulk, when naval attache of the 
American legation, had once a pleasing experi- 
ence, while traveling in the country, of the 
courtesies of the pu-saiigs, acting for him in the 
capacity of a night escort.* Especially are they 
liable to military service should the government 
have need to call an army into the field in addi- 
tion to the troops in the barracks. So that, 

* The following is the account mentioned above, that was 
written by Lieutenant Foulk, describing his experience 
with the pii-sangs: 

"It was nightfall when we started to return. The mag- 
istrate, who was an officer of the pu-sajig, brought his seal 
into use, and called out thirty of the body to light us down 
the mountains. Where these men came from or how they 
were called I did not understand, for we were apparently 
in an uninhabited, wild, mountain district. They appeared 
quickly— great, rough mountain men, each wearing the 
pti-sang hat. We descended the worst ravine in a long, 
weird, winding procession, the mountains and our path 
weirdly illuminated by the pine torches of the pit-sang 
men, who uttered shrill, reverberating cries continually to 
indicate the road or one another's whereabouts. Suddenly 
we came upon a little pavilion in the darkest part of the 
gorge; here some two hundred more pie-sang men were 
assembled by a wild stream in the light of many bonfires 
and torches. On the call of the magistrate they had pre- 
pared a feast for us here at midnight in the mountains. 
Here the magistrate told me he had been asked by the late 
minister to the United States, Min Yong Ik, to suddenly 
call on the pit-sang men of the Song-do district for serv- 
ices, to show me the usefulness and fidelity of the body; 
and he had selected this place, the middle of the mountains, 
and time, the middle of the night. I need not say that the 
experience was wonderful and impressive." 


although Korea has no "merchant marine," she 
may be said to have a merchant soldiery. 

Another curious feature is that among the 
great departmental offices of the government, 
such as the foreign office, the home office, and the 
war office, there is si pii-saiig office for whose head- 
quarters a large house is provided in the center of 
the city. And further, one of the greatest nobles 
in the country is the president of this office. In 
other words, he is the head of the pu-sang guild. 
Then the pu-sangs are subdivided according to 
magistracies, having what we would term a 
county organization, and there is a chief who is 
the head of all the pu-sangs in a given magistracy. 
Men who are not peddlers frequently join the 
peddlers' guild. A former gateman of ours, and 
in our neighborhood a paperer and one of the 
coolies are said to belong to the peddlers' guild. 
The popularity of the guild is due chiefly to 
its size and power. Not that they have any 
direct authority, but they are clannish in help- 
ing one another. For example, ^. pu-sang desires 
to collect a debt, but his debtor declines to 
pay. Does he put his note in the hands of a 
collection agency as we would at home? No, he 
mentions the matter to a few of his peddler 
friends. In the evening he calls again in company 
with these friends. And as twenty stalwart ped- 
dlers begin to bare their brawny arms, the debtor 
comes to the conclusion that he believes he can 
raise the money after all. But they have more 


leg-itimate modes of helpfulness. Like other 
guilds, they help each other in the case of special 
emergencies, such as a death or wedding in the 
family. On two occasions, I have seen great 
gatherings of \.\\e pii-sangs. They had large tents 
erected, and I remember that some of their num- 
ber wore white straw hats, with a couple of cot- 
ton balls in the band. These were said to be low 
men in the order. 

These various guilds, as we have seen, have 
characteristics in which they differ, combined with 
features that are similar. One of the family traits 
is the custom of mutual help with money or 
goods upon specified occasions. There are also 
certain varieties of another Korean association, 
known as the kyci or kay. The kay is a promi- 
nent feature in Korean social life. There are 
many varieties of these associations, organized for 
all kinds of purposes, some good, some bad. 
There are associations of which the Koreans 
themselves disapprove theoretically, as being 
organized for gambling purposes — lotteries in 
other words. Again, there are perfectly legiti- 
mate kays, which are insurance companies, or 
mutual benefit associations, or money-loaning 
syndicates. There are several different kinds of 
lotteries. One variety is limited in the number 
of those who engage, and has but one prize. 
Another kind has a hundred chances; and still a 
third has a thousand chances. Then there is one 
which the Koreans say has been copied after the 


foreign lottery, where tickets are sold in unlimited 
numbers. This is probably true, for I have seen 
the tickets of the Manila Lottery exposed for 
sale in the Chinese stores, instructing them in the 
ways of Western civilization. It is to the credit 
of the Korean government that it frowns severely 
upon these lotteries, and suppresses them where- 
ever it is possible. 

We come now to the mutual-aid societies, insur- 
ance companies and loan associations. There is 
a form of kay which, considering the customs that 
govern it, would appear to be legitimate. A 
certain number of men belong to it; and they 
have a fortnightly or monthly casting of the lot. 
When a man has drawn the prize, he cannot try 
again until every other member has had his turn 
in drawing the prize. But whether eligible or 
not for the drawing, he must keep up his regular 
periodical payments to the manager of the kay. 
In some such associations, I am told, the amount 
of the sum drawn goes up month by month till a 
certain limit is reached, when it drops again to 
the original amount. We were surprised one Sun- 
day on going to church to see the house-boy of one 
of our missionary friends standing with a fantastic 
tissue paper head gear on his head, and a native 
lantern in his hand, in a group of similarly fur- 
nished men outside a house where a funeral was 
to be held. He had to. He belonged to an 
association whose members are pledged to carry 
lanterns at the funeral, and furnish some stipu- 


lated article, as the grass-clotli with which to wrap 
the remains when one of their number dies. 
Then there is another association which pays the 
entire expense of the funeral, when death invades 
the home of one of its members. These insur- 
ance kays are known by a number of names. In 
contrast with these, there is an association whose 
members are assessed when there is a wedding in 
the family, or a young son puts up his hair in a 
top-knot, and assumes the garb of manhood. 
There is still another variety which helps at both 
weddings and funerals. These insurance and 
mutual-aid associations are conducted on the 
assessment plan. 

Koreans also associate themselves together in 
kays for the purpose of loaning money. There 
is one variety composed of people who loan their 
money and divide the interest at the New Year's 
season in order to lighten the heavy burden of 
expense which custom connects with that festival 
season. Another heavy item of expense in Kor- 
ean families is the preparation of their winter 
supply of certain articles of food, made in the fall. 
Among their other preparations many families 
salt down a large quantity of shrimps at this 
season of the year. Hence it comes about that 
there is an association whose members each spend 
their portion of the accrued interest on their united 
loan in buying the winter supply of shrimps. 

It is a matter of course that every Korean 
scholar wants to attend the royal examinations 


once in a while. But for the poor country- 
scholar attending the koaga* is expensive, for, 
added to the cost of the examination paper, ink, 
etc., is the item of hotel bills on the way. So 
these scholars form an association, loan their 
money, and in the course of time divide the 
accrued interest, and find themselves in a position 
to attend the examination in Seoul. 

The Koreans are very fond of going out of the 
city upon picnics in the spring, when the azaleas 
and other flowers are in bloom. So, festive but 
impecunious people sometimes form an associa- 
tion, loan their money, and use the interest in 
going out upon such excursions when the flowers 
are in their glory. Men who are fond of archery 
have their kays. Four or five archers meet and 
contribute a small sum each to form a prize, 
which is then given to the man most skillful with 
his bow. Or two sets of archers meet for a 
friendly contest, and the rich men and poor men 
among them, according to their several abilities, 
contribute a purse, out of which they provide a 
feast and dancing-girls to entertain them. Money 
is loaned by the kays at what we would consider 
very high rates of interest. Yearly loans are 
sometimes made, but more often money is loaned 
on ten months' time. In these ten-months' loans, if 
a man's credit is very good, he can borrow per- 
haps at 20 per cent. More often the rate charged 
is 30, 40, or 50 per cent. Thus 1,000 cash in the 

♦These Koas^as were abolished at the time of the war. 


course of ten months brings in an interest 
amounting to 200 cash, or more. Often the 
return payments are made during the ten months 
at the rate of one-tenth of principal and interest 
each month. Certain kinds of kays have each a 
manager, who is expected upon the occasions 
when they meet, once or twice a month, to fur- 
nish the members with wine or a meal. I once 
saw such a meeting in the country, and witnessed 
the casting of lots, when their names, written on 
white nuts about the size of a hickory nut, were 
drawn one by one froin a gourd receptacle. 

We sometimes think that in the home-land we 
have organizations for almost everything under 
the sun. But I am not sure whether Korean life, 
with all its different associations, is not about as 
complex as ours. The business world is certainly 
organized to an extent we are not acquainted with 
in Western lands. True, there are trades unions 
in each alike, but in Korea nearly all the mer- 
chants in the land are bound together in their 
powerful guilds, that are practically trades unions 
in the mercantile world. And it is worthy of note 
that one feature characterizes all these associa- 
tions, whether merchant guilds, trades unions, 
the .semi-political peddlers' guilds, or the legiti- 
mate kind of kays, and that is the trait of mutual 
helpfulness in time of need. 



The religious beliefs of Korea show a blending 
of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shamanism. 
The Confucian learning, as we know, forms the 
basis of the education of the country. Every 
magistracy throughout the land has somewhere in 
its town a temple dedicated to Confucius, where, 
twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, the 
magistrate, with his numerous writers, worships the 
spirit of the sage. The social fabric of the coun- 
try is largely Confucian. Ancestral worship is 
Confucian. Again, the monasteries and temples 
of Buddha are scattered throughout the country — 
a faith with much of its lustre gone. Frequently 
before a village door may be seen a couple of 
monks or nuns soliciting alms, as they tap upon 
their wooden begging-bowls in time to a monoto- 
nous chant. Socially, they hold nearly the lowest 
position, and until the time of the war were for- 
bidden to enter the gates of Seoul. Shamanism, 
or Spiritism, has its representatives in the blind 
sorcerer, the muiang^ or sorceress, and the 
geomancer who chooses fortunate grave sites. 

Each religion furnishes its share to the 
mythology of the country. At the head of their 
system of belief is Hananim, whom the Chinese 


recognize as Shangti. Many would introduce as 
next inferior to him Buddha (indeed, some go to 
the temples upon the death of a relative to pray 
the Buddha to send his spirit to the good abode). 
Then come the ten judges of hades, whose pic- 
tures may be seen in Buddhist temples. Through 
their servants they are said to be well versed in 
the affairs of mortals. Upon the death of a man, 
one of his souls is seized by ofhcial servants of 
these judges and hurried to hades. The judges, 
knowing whether his deeds have been good or 
evil, give sentence, and in accordance with the 
judgment the spirit is sent either to the Buddhist 
heaven or to the Buddhist hell to spend the rest 
of his existence. In the latter place are manifold 
kinds of punishment. For you must know that, 
while many Koreans believe with the Southern 
Buddhists in the transmigration of souls, many 
others follow the Northern cult in the belief in a 
heaven and a hell. Another class of Koreans 
believe that the soul does not go to the realm of 
departed spirits, but wanders about on this earth 
dependent for its condition upon the fidelity of 
his sons in keeping up the prescribed sacrifice. 
Next below the ten judges come the sansiit, or 
mountain spirits. Each mountain on the checker- 
board of Korea is supposed to have its presiding 
genius in the person of a mountain spirit, of 
whom more anon. Below the mountain spirits 
are many other kinds of spirits. We come now 
to the kiiisin, or devils. Nearly all the women 


and three-fourths of the men of Korea stand in 
mortal terror of these malevolent beings. Is 
any one sick, or in trouble, going on a journey or 
moving his lodgings, the demons are propitiated 
by sorcery. 

With this brief look at the religions of the 
country, let us center our attention upon the 
ancestral worship as practiced in Korea. Ances- 
tral worship is Confucian in its origin. Con- 
fucius was intensely practical in his philosophy. 
His mind took no pleasure in dwelling upon the 
supernatural. He said: "Spirits are to be 
respected, but to be kept at a distance." On 
another occasion he said: "While you are not able 
to serve men, how can you serve their spirits?" 
He found ancestral worship existing among the 
ancients he so much venerated, and he passed on 
the custom almost without comment. And yet, 
while he set before men a beautiful array of 
virtues to be practiced, because he gave to the 
virtue of filial piety an excessive importance and 
made it the foundation stone of his structure, he 
may be said to have furnished the principle for 
ancestral worship. 

The customs regulating ancestral worship in 
Korea are so interesting, that it may be profitable 
to consider the procedure after death somewhat 
in detail. Koreans believe that every man has 
three souls, and upon death one goes to hades, or 
wanders about on the earth, one goes to the grave, 
and one takes his abode in the ancestral tablet. 


In the last moments before death, silence reigns 
through the house. Sad ministrations follow, and 
the remains are placed in new clothes for burial. 
Outside the door is at once placed a little table 
with three bowls of rice, and a red squash ; and 
alongside of it are ranged three pairs of straw 

Three official servants have come to take the 
soul to the ten judges in hades. These are pres- 
ents to them. Smelling the flavor of the cooked 
rice, they are refreshed. The shoes being burnt, 
they are shod for the journey. The squash is a 
present to the prison official who lived 2,000 years 
ago, and was fond of squash. Then the rice is 
thrown away, and the squash broken. This is 
done during the first half-hour after death. Then 
the inner garments of the deceased are taken out 
by a servant, who waves them in the air and 
calls loudly to the deceased by name. At the 
same time the friends and relatives of the dead 
man loudly lament. After a time the clothes are 
thrown upon the roof of the house and left there. 

The choice of the site of the grave is considered 
a matter of great importance to Koreans. The 
semi-globular mounds are invariably placed upon 
hillsides. While they maybe placed upon slopes 
facing any direction, a south exposure is pre- 
ferred, probably for reasons such as carry weight 
in China, the belief being there that inasmuch 
as warmth and life proceed from the south, 
and cold and frost from the north, that grave 


is most fortunately located which is at the same 
time sheltered from the north and open to the 
good influences supposed to emanate from the 
south. But if that were all, the choice of a grave 
site would be a simple matter. There are many 
intricate points connected with the subject, in 
which only the initiated are versed. The rela- 
tives are obliged to consult a geomancer. He is 
a learned man who, by long study of books upon 
the subject in his possession, knows all the super- 
stitions relating to the good and bad influences 
supposed to be in the ground. He must choose 
the burial site. It is believed that a well-chosen 
site brings rank and money and numerous sons to 
the children of the one buried there. 

The day of the funeral arrives. The remains 
have been placed in a coffin more or less expen- 
sive, according to the means of the family. At 
dusk they start with a long train of lanterns, the 
brilliantly colored hearse, the loudly weeping 
mourners, of whom the male members are dressed 
in the bushel-basket hat and the yellow mourner's 
clothes. The grave at last has been reached, 
the interment has taken place, and the mound has 
been rounded up. Now occurs the first sacrifice. 
Small tables are placed in front of the grave. 
Upon them are set offerings of wine and dried 
fish. The relatives, facing the offerings and the 
grave, bow to the ground in five prostrations. A 
formula is repeated, wishing peace to the spirit 
who is to dwell in the grave. Afterward, at a 


little distance behind the grave, like offerings 
and similar prostrations are made to the moun- 
tain spirit. The mountain spirit is supposed to 
preside over the place. Prayer is offered to him, 
invoking his protection as host to the spirit in the 
grave they are committing to his care. This is 
deemed necessary in order to secure hospitable 
treatment for the spirit at the grave. After these 
ceremonies the wine is disposed of, and the fish 
is divided among the servants. 

We now come to the third soul of the man. 
He returns from the grave with the mourners 
to take up his abode in the ancestral tablet. In 
the room the tablet is to occupy (a vacant room 
if possible) another offering is made. 

The offerings consist of native bread, wine, 
meat, cooked rice and vermicelli soup. These 
articles of food are placed before the tablet that 
the spirit may regale himself with the flavor. 
The relatives and friends bow five times. Then 
the food is taken into another room and eaten by 
the assembled company. 

At this point it may be well to make a few 
explanations. The ancestral tablet consists of a 
couple of strips of whitened wood, put face to 
face, with a hollow space cut into their inner sur- 
faces, and within which are written upon one of 
the strips, in Chinese, the family name and other 
writing. A small round hole connecting this 
inner space with the outer air is supposed to give 
ingress and egress to the spirit. The tablet thus 


constituted is slipped into a socket in a wooden 
block, and thus adopts an upright position, follow- 
ing which it is placed in a protecting case. After 
three years of mourning it is put with the other 
ancestral tablets in the little cabinets in the 
ancestral temple adjoining the house. During the 
intervening time, if the man is wealthy he places 
the tablet in a vacant room, iisually in his wife's 
apartment. But if the man is poor and has no 
ancestral temple, the tablet is placed in a box on 
one side of the room, and on the occasions when 
he worships his other ancestors, strips of paper 
with writing on them are pasted on the wall in 
lieu of the proper tablets. The common people 
worship not only for their father, but also for 
their grandfather and great-grandfather. Some 
go back two generations or more. High officials 
worship for four, while the king worships for five 

Some curious customs regulate the period of 
mourning, strictly so called. 

If the father dies, the family goes into mourn- 
ing for three years. If the father and mother die 
the same day, the same period of mourning is 
observed; and likewise, should the mother die 
some time after the father's death. But if while 
the father is alive the mother dies, the family 
wear mourning garments for one year. 

Again, suppose three generations of a family 
to be living. The father dies, and the family 
goes into mourning for three years. The grand- 


father dies next, and the son takes his dead 
father's place in wearing mourning clothes for 
another three years. Where a man received 
rank, posthumous rank is sometimes given to his 
departed father from the feeling that the father 
must alwaj's be considered higher than the son. 
An official cannot hold office during the three 
years of mourning. And we remember how, in 
the year of mourning for the Dowager Queen, 
custom required that th; public offices be closed 
for a long period of time. Custom also prescribes 
that no matter how young a king may be at the 
time of his decease, his successor must be younger 
than he, so that he can perform the sacrifices. 

But to return to the family in mourning. 
Allusion has been made to the mourning clothes 
ordinarily worn. On the minor sacrificial occa- 
sions, a peculiar robe is worn. It consists of a 
flowing-sleeved garment, split up the back to the 
waist, over which division a fold falls to the bot- 
tom of the garment. During the three years, 
upon the two national mourning days, and upon 
the anniversary of the father's death, an especial 
attire is worn by the male relatives during the 
ceremonies of mourning. Among other features 
the official hoop belt is worn ; and the hat is 
peculiar, in which a white loop goes up over a 
baggy skull-cap from front to rear. 

During the three years a dish of fruit is con- 
stantly kept before the ancestral tablet. 

Let us consider the sacrifices further demanded 


by the laws of ancestral worship. Upon all these 
occasions the eldest son is invariably the master 
of ceremonies. During- the three years certain 
sacrifice is rendered only before the deceased 
father's tablet, and not in the ancestral temple. 
On the first and fifteenth of each Korean month 
sacrifice is performed, and rice or vermicelli soup, 
amid lamentations, is placed before the tablet. 
The time for the sacrifice is one or two hours after 
midnight. The anniversary of the father's death 
is a very important occasion during the mourning 
years. While in mourning, on the night before 
this anniversary, sacrifice is made before the 
tablet. The next morning friends visit the fam- 
ily in inourning, and sympathize with them, upon 
which occasion food in many varieties is set before 
them. Some time during the day the mourners 
repair to the grave and repeat the sacrifices of 
the previous year to the soul in the grave and to 
the mountain spirit. 

These constitute the sacrifices peculiar to the 
first three years. Afterward the offerings upon 
the first and fifteenth days cease, while sacrifice 
on the father's anniversar}^ day goes on perpet- 
ually, but in the ancestral temple where the other 
tablets are. Mention should be made here of the 
anniversaries of the grandfather's and g-reat- 
grand father's death, when sacrifice is made in 
the ancestral temple, and at their graves. 

We come now to the eight Korean holidays upon 
which sacrifice to the dead must be performed. 


The occasions are New Year's day (about the 
ist of February), the fifteenth day of the first 
month wliicli closes the New Year's holiday 
season, the two national mourning days, and four 
other festiv^als. Upon these days sacrifice is 
offered at daybreak. One peculiarity marks the 
celebration of these eight festivals during the 
mourning years. A double sacrifice is performed 
at the house ; one in the ancestral temple before 
the remoter ancestors' tablets, the other later, 
before the father's tablet in the other building. 
The two general mourning da3's come in the 
spring and in the fall; one in the third month, 
corresponding to April, the other in the eighth 
month, our September. Upon these two days the 
practice is various. Some visit their father's 
grave, and some do not. Others again visit in 
addition the graves of their grandfather and 
remoter ancestors, upon which occasions they bow 
and offer their food at the graves and before the 
presiding mountain spirit. 

Now, as to the significance of all this ancestral 
worship. The literature upon the ancestral wor- 
ship of China, especially the pamphlet by Dr. 
Yates, seems to indicate that the Chinese believe 
that the happiness of the dead and of the living is 
directly connected with ancestral worship. 
Whether their fathers are rich or beggars in the 
other world depends upon the fidelity of their chil- 
dren in keeping up the prescribed sacrifices, and 
they are believed to reward or punish the living 


children according to their faithfulness in ances- 
tral worship. 

Many Koreans would agree with this view. Still 
another class seem tobelievx that the condition of 
the dead is permanently fixed by the sentence of 
the ten judges upon their arrival in the other 
world. Such would hold that whether a man 
worships his father or not, does not affect the 
happiness of either the father or the son. But it 
does affect the reputation and social standing of 
the son among his acquaintances, as being a man 
who shows respect or disrespect to the spirit of 
his father living in the ancestral tablet in his 
house. Such are some of the features of the 
ancestral worship of Korea. 



As I was told at a monastery near by that I 
was the first foreigner who had visited this noted 
mountain, it may prove of interest if I relate my 
experiences while there. As to the question of 
where it is, I would state in the province of Chung 
Chong, perhaps ten miles south of Kong-Ju, the 
capital, a little off from the main road that leads 
to the south. Kay-riong-san is a notable moun- 
tain, whether for itself or for its venerable mon- 
asteries, but more especially because it rises not far 
from the spot which, tradition tells us, is to be 
the site of the future Seoul of the next dynasty, 
whenever it comes. The natives put it thus: 
The founder of the present dynasty had deter- 
mined to locate his capital there, and had been 
three days at work on the walls, when the moun- 
tain spirit warned him off. The site was not for 
him. He must locate at the present Seoul. The 
property was being held for the dynasty that 
would follow his own. And as his majesty had no 
desire to engender the ill-will of the local deities, 
he prudently withdrew his claim. 

The mountain is magnificent ; as high as Pyok- 
Han to the north of our city of Seoul. But instead 
of a cluster of glorious peaks, there is a suc- 



cession of perhaps a dozen such peaks in pic- 
turesque irregularity. On the side of our ap- 
proach they were green with splendid timber to 
their very summits. I think that one gains a more 
vivid sense of their majesty from the plain, 
because the eye sweeps up over comparativ^ely un- 
broken slopes of green to the tremendous peaks 
above. I cannot soon forget the approach to the 
monastery at the foot of the mountain. Splendid 
trees centuries old lined the avenue, through whose 
interstices came the sunlight and glimpses of the 
majestic green mountains. Birds were singing, 
while here and there could be heard the music of 
cascades. We arrived at the monastery. Here 
were buildings that were erected at the time when 
our fathers wore armor or wolf-skins in the train 
of Emperor Charlemagne, a thousand years ago. 
One temple into which we looked, that was six 
or eight hundred years old, impressed us as 
having been built when Buddhism was in its glory. 
The fine large statues of the three seated Buddhas 
and of their attendants beside them, together with 
the platform on which they were placed, towered 
aloft some fifteen feet. The wooden frame which 
held the drum of the monks consisted of two 
very well-carved dragons. In another build- 
ing was the finest bell I have seen in Korea. 
Upon its sides were carved the names of the faith- 
ful who had given it. It hung from its frame by 
a loop of well-made dragons of bronze. In one 
of the thousand-year-old buildings time had been 


unkind to the Buddha. Half of his dainty mus- 
tache was wanting-, and the gold was gone from 
his fingers. In another building were four large 
pictures of noted priests. One with a flowing 
black beard represented Sa-Miong-Tong, who it 
is said went to Japan, in the days of the invasion, 
and by his magical arts intimidated the Japanese 
into concluding a peace with Korea. Such is the 
tradition. The persimmons growing at this 
monastery were the finest I tasted in Korea. 
We saw a foundry in which the monks make 
kettles, such as the natives use for the cooking of 
food. Standing by itself in a rather wild place rose 
a curious iron tower. Iron cylinders, perhaps 
two feet in diameter, were placed one upon 
another to the height of forty feet. Two tall 
stone slabs helped to support the tower. The 
last ten feet of the cylinders leaned away at an 
angle from the almost perpendicular shaft. The 
top of the column had an ornamental capital. I 
could get no satisfactory explanation of the shaft. 
In another spot we saw a small pagoda upon 
whose shelves sat a number of little stone Bud- 
dhas, some with heads and some without, but 
all of them serene in posture. I glanced into 
one of the monastery kitchens. Above one of 
the huge cooking-places, painted upon the wall 
in bright colors, was a kitchen god. He had 
the look of a large well-fed Korean seated in 
a chair with a couple of attendants beside him. 
After tiffin my Korean friend proposed that 


while our horses went around, we follow the 
path over the brow of the mountain. A look 
at the steep tremendous peak filled me with no 
great enthusiasm. However we went. A slender 
young monk put on a yellow-peaked sun-bonnet 
and led the way. He had come but recently 
from Seoul to take up the life of a monk, and the 
poor fellow was evidently homesick. We had 
been climbing some time when we came to 
another monastery. Its calm, gilded Buddha sat 
in a glass case. Here we had a change of guides. 
He was a fat young monk, as merry as an early 
spring robin. Up we zigzagged over a rugged 
path. At the summit was another monastery in 
whose court, strange to say, stood a Japanese 
glass street lamp. Here I saw an elderly inonk, 
the first really ascetic Korean monk that I have 
met. His head was shaven, his face looked thin 
and worn, and his manners were charmingly 
gentle. After a rest we took in the splendid 
view. To the north and south were a profusion 
of mountains. Southward we looked over nine 
successive peaks. Westward the country stretched 
in a comparatively unbroken level to the sea. 

A third bright young monk led us down the 
mountain to the large monastery at its foot, where 
we were to spend the night. In the dim twilight 
of the following morning we heard a tap-tap, tap- 
tap, tap, tap, as the wooden part of the great 
drum was struck. Then came the loud sound of 
the drum. Next the boom of the great bronze 


bell, which sounded now and again during the 
strange, monotonous chant of the monks that 
followed. It all seemed very weird to one's half- 
wakened senses. Later we visited the famous 
plain to which allusion has been made. Two 
monks, one in the small yellow begging-hat, 
shaped like a bowl, and the other in the ordinary 
wide-brimmed, round-crowned, black monk's 
hat, who had occasion to go in the same direction, 
showed us the way. Presently we found our- 
selves climbing the mountain, green with bushes 
and grass. We were entering by the western 
approach. Not far from the top of the ridge we 
saw a brook that slipped for fifty feet down a 
slope of rock at an angle of forty-five degrees. 
From here our path led down a valley which 
furnished one of the roughest pieces of road that 
I ever traveled. The brook that went with us 
was falling all the time, and it was with the great- 
est difficulty that we kept from following its 
example. One of our party did rest for a time 
in one of the puddles of the road. One of the 
many cascades of the valley deserves particular 
mention. To view it well required a visit in 
one's stocking feet. The wide brook dropped 
with a sheer fall of twenty-five feet into an oval 
pool that was green in color and of unknown 
depth. The natives say that in the depths of the 
pool sleeps a male dragon. Presently the rocky 
road opened upon a great plain. As we traveled 
through it we saw where the canal had been 


begun that was to have crossed the city. Soon we 
reached the place where huge cubes of stone lay 
about the plain in careless disorder. These the 
ancient king had cut and brought from the hills, 
when he thought to build his city here. Under 
almost every block of stone holes had been 
scraped. It is said that the natives at one time 
brought nails and placed them under the stones, 
in the belief that by so doing they would be rid 
of disease. But doubt having been raised as to 
the value of the remedy, the nails were all dug 
out and used. As we looked about, this place 
was pointed out as the spot where the palace was 
to have stood. And from yonder knoll the great 
bell was to have tolled its warning that day was 
done, and that the stream of life throbbing 
through the great gates must rest until the mor- 

But what a site for a city I An enormous level 
plain, amply sufficient to hold a great population, 
wonderfully fortified by the hand of God in the 
mountains that he built about it. To the north 
were grand, rugged, mountain heads. To the 
east and west more regular ridges. To the south 
the plain opened out upon a chorus of peaks of 
all heights and sizes. The east, north, and west 
approaches would probably have been difficult. 
But from the south the city would doubtless have 
been easy of access. Had the founder of the 
present dynasty placed his capital here, he could 
have made for himself an almost impregnable city; 


but his choice of Seoul was undoubtedly wise, for 
he gained thereby a capital of far more central 



The merit of the little poem,"Seein' things," by 
that melodious singer of childhood's thoughts, 
Eugene Field, consists not in the scientific accu- 
racy of the boy's deductions, but in the fact that it 
enables us to see the horrid phantoms of the night 
through the eyes of the boy. In like manner, 
please consider that this chapter is not an attempt 
at a scientific investigation in the realm of demon- 
ology, but simply an effort to let )^ou view the 
occult beings they so much dread from the point 
of view of the average Korean. * 

No one can understand the inner life of the great 
majority of the Korean people who fails to take 
note of their attitude toward these demons. When 
the Korean thinks of these beings no warm surge 
of love and joy comes into his heart, as is the case 
with the Christian when he is filled with the 
thought of his Father in Heaven, but rather his 
imagination peoples the earth, the sea, the sky, 
the haunts of men and the wilderness with 
myriads of spirits, five-sixths of whom are hate- 

*For most of my knowledge upon this subject I am 
indebted to the researches of Rev. G. H. Jones, Mrs. Gifford 
and the late Dr. E. B. Landis. 



ful, wicked, malicious, and the other one-sixth, 
while better disposed, are capricious in the 
extreme. These beings have it in their power, 
he believes, to bring him material prosperity or 
to injure him and his family in a thousand dif- 
ferent ways — such, for instance, as through the loss 
of property, or sickness, taking frequently the 
form known as "demon possession." He can 
never tell when he has offended one of these 
beings, so he, and more especially his wife, live in 
a constant dread that impels them to frequent 
expensive offerings to appease their jealous anger. 
Demon-worship takes no thought of the joys or 
woes of a future life, presents not one induce- 
ment to men to live more moral lives, but strikes 
incessantly upon the one emotional chord of fear. 
It has been estimated that demon-worship costs 
the people of Korea two million five hundred 
thousand dollars every year. In the city of Seoul 
alone three thousand sorceresses ply their art, earn- 
ing, on an average, fifteen yen a month apiece — 
a very good living, indeed, according to Korean 
standards. Thus some idea can be formed of the 
hold this demon cult has upon the lives of the 
people. It is undoubtedl}' tlie religion of the 
country, as well as the oldest of all its beliefs. 

To consider from the Korean point of view 
these supernatural beings more in detail, they are 
divided into two classes, each of which is again 
capable of a further subdivision. The first and 
larsfcr class consists of malicious fiends and the 


spirits of men who have died in poverty, or under 
other painful circumstances, and now wander 
about the world in cold, hunger and nakedness, 
wreaking their spite on all who refuse to supply 
their needs through offerings. The second class 
embraces spirits of a kindlier nature and the 
shades of men who in this life were prosperous 
and influential. The people believe that by 
proper induceinents in the form of offerings, 
incense and prayers, they can buy off members of 
the first class or prevail on others of the second 
class to interest themselves in their behalf. Go 
into the inner court of a Korean home and among 
other evidences of spirit worship you would prob- 
ably see the following fetishes or spirit "nests" : 
Somewhere out of doors in the court is visible a 
bundle of straw set on some sticks or a shelf con- 
taining a scrap of cloth or a bit of straw rope and 
upon which on the offering days, the ist, 2d, 3d, 
and 15th of the month, cooked food is placed. 
This is the nest of the spirit of the site. Again, 
in the shed room used for a kitchen, the fetish of 
the kitchen demon may be seen in a piece of 
cloth or paper fastened to the wall above the fire- 
place. In the deep veranda attached to the side of 
the great beam overhead are seen paper and rice, 
representing the abode of the spirit of the ridge- 
pole, who occupies rather a chief position among 
the household spirits, and who is supposed to 
bring to the home a measure of health and hap- 
piness, and yet is unable always to ward off sick- 


ness. At the approach of a contagious disease he 
is said to flee from the premises and must be 
coaxed back with propei ceremonies later on. 
The rites attending the introduction or recall of 
this spirit into a home have been thus described: 
The house having been cleaned and a feast pre- 
pared, the miitang, or sorceress, who has been 
called for the occasion, starts out to hunt the spirit. 
She ties a good-sized sheet of paper around an 
oak rod, which she holds upright in her hand. 
She may find the spirit just outside the house or 
she may have to go some distance before he indi- 
cates his presence by shaking the rod with so 
much force that many men with their united 
strength could not hold it still. He accompanies 
the niutang as she rettirns to the house. Upon 
their arrival great demonstrations of joy are made 
that he has come to bless the family with his pres- 
ence. The paper which was tied around the stick 
is folded, soaked in wine, a few pieces of cash 
slipped into it and then tossed against a beam in 
the house, to which it adheres. Rice is thrown 
up, some of which sticks to the paper, and the 
spirit nest is complete. Smallpox creates great 
ravages among the little folks of Korea, and par- 
ents never count their infants among the number 
of their children until they have had that disease. 
They believe there is a smallpox devil, to whom 
the name of Mama has been given, and whose 
home they say is in the south of China. The 
well-known symptoms break out upon a baby. 


At once a inutang is called, and under her direc- 
tion they proceed to do the spirit reverence. The 
parents bow low before the sick child and address 
it continually in terms of the liiy"hest respect. If 
the child survives, at the turn of the disease the 
inutang is called again, a feast is piepared and 
the smallpox devil is bidden adieu, with many 
polite wishes for a prosperous journey to his native 
land. This shows something of the inner life of 
Korean homes. Every day in the month is con- 
sidered fortunate for the doing of certain things 
and unlucky for the doing of certain others, so 
fettered are they by their superstitions. 

Strangers in Korea have their curiosity aroused 
b}^ seeing here and there by the roadside a small 
tree growing apparently out of the midst of a pile 
of stones. To its limbs are attached all manner 
of white rags, shreds of colored cloth and pieces 
of paper, some of which contain written prayers. 
Coolies going by spit at the pile. Old women 
with little bundles of clothing tied to the tops of 
their heads and a staff in one hand, pause and bow 
reverently, rubbing together their palms. An 
evil spirit dwells in the tree and it is considered 
wise in travelers to show him some mark of atten- 
tion, exhibited in these different ways. Food is 
sometimes offered at these stone piles to wander- 
ing hungry spirits. Here and there a great splen- 
did tree is considered haunted. Sometimes upon 
the crown of a mountain pass you will come upon 
a spirit shrine. Within you will see colored pic- 


tures. One is of an old man sitting on a tiger ; 
handsome women, apparently his wives, stand 
about, and beyond are the pictures of retainers. 
This is the shrine of a mountain spirit. The 
people will point out to you pools, where great 
writhing dragons are said to have their homes. 
Near many a country village may be seen a rude 
shrine where some great local spirit is worshiped 
every three years, and the expenses of the festival 
are defrayed by public taxation. 

The priests and priestesses of this "unorganized 
Shamanism" are blind men called panstis and 
the women termed vintangs. If you could only for- 
get the horrid meaning of it all, the dancing of 
the uiutang in her worship, in time to the beat of 
the gong and the drum in the shape of an hour- 
glass, would impress one as quite picturesque. 
She is supposed to be under the control of a 
spirit of influence in the realm of darkness, who, 
for a consideration, can be induced to appease the 
injured dignity of some malignant spirit who is 
afflicting a household. She also claims the power 
to foretell future events. No matter what her 
position in life, the call of a woman by a spirit to 
become a vmtang is considered irresistible. She 
will make plenty of money, but at a high price ; 
for she becomes a social outcast, not on moral 
grounds, but by reason of her vocation. The 
pansu deals directly with the evil spirits, which 
he drives away by repeating exorcisms from a 
book handed down from the earliest ages, whose 


words are meaningless at the present time. One 
of his many pretensions is the bottling of a foul 
spiiit. Under ordinary circumstances it is only 
necessary to offer some poor food, meanly pre- 
pared and offered in coarse dishes, with an order 
to cease their persecutions, which may be in the 
form of sickness or mysterious manifestations, such 
as unaccountable noises, unexplained fires in roofs, 
the mysterious finding of sieves and articles of 
clothing in the tops of trees. If this proves 
insufficient, the fiend is called and is supposed to 
manifest his presence by causing the small bit of 
wood which has been placed on the floor in front 
of the pansu, to dance in a most extraordinary 
manner. The pansu chastises him severely with a 
stick which he grasps in one hand, and drives him 
into a wide-mouthed, empty bottle which he holds 
in the other. When this is accomplished, which 
is indicated by the piece of wood hopping in, the 
bottle is corked, buried at a cross-roads and a fire 
is built over the spot. These are some of the 
methods employed by the pansiis and imitangs. 

Let us consider the attitude of the Korean 
Christians, more especially toward' what they 
regard as cases of demoniacal possession. The 
following is the naive account given by a Korean 
Christian man living on the island of Kang-wha 
to Mrs. G. H. Jones, which she inserted in one of 
her annual reports to the Northern M. E. Mission. 
He was an e3^e-witness of the events he narrates : 

"There was a man living in Sosa Sirimi on 


Kang-wha, who has since removed to Chemulpo. 
With his entire household he became a Christian, 
and although he had not as yet received baptism, 
he cast away all his idols and ceased from the 
evil deeds of the past. On the eve of the ninth 
day of the sixth moon his wife, though sick, had 
no pain, yet her limbs became rigid like a dead 
person and she was totally unconscious. Being 
thus the whole night, we thought she had the 
Asiatic cholera, and gave her medicine. When 
daylight came she seemed to be better and we 
concluded she had recovered. The next night 
she had a return of the attack, going into convul- 
sions and becoming unconscious. Three or four 
persons were called in to rub her limbs and we 
gave her medicine again and again. At daybreak 
she recovered. This time we believed she was 
entirely cured; but at about six o'clock in the 
evening the attack returned. Her husband rubbed 
her limbs. Three or four of the brethren were 
present. In an hour she awoke and began to 
gnaw her hands, so that her mouth was bloody. 
Those standing by, using in fun the words 
employed to drive out a dog, cried 'Egai! Egai!' 
and she began to bellow. Therefore all were 
astonished and cried, 'This is not cholera. A 
devil has taken possession of her. We must 
beseech the Lord to cast it out. Let us pray.' 
Then the sick woman, with evident grief, began 
to cry again. We inquired why vshe cried. She 
answered : 'You call me a devil ; and say you will 


drive me away.' Therefore we were sure it was 
the devil. This being Friday evening and the 
time when the women meet for prayer, all of the 
sisters and some of the brethren met at the sick 
woman's house, and reading Mark 5:1-20, with 
one heart all besought the Lord, saying: 'Lord 
have pity on us. We are all sinners, and very 
weak, and when the devil tries us, we are defense- 
less. Oh, Lord, bring to pass what we have 
just read in the Bible. Make the devil to leave 
this woman and go to his own place. ' As we 
prayed the woman sat up and joined in our pra}'er. 
And then when we sang, she sang with us. We 
all exhorted her to have faith that the devil had 
been cast out, and give no place to doubt ; to 
beseech the Lord to never again allow the devil 
to disturb her. Then, praising God, we all dis- 
persed to our homes. From that time she was 
entirely cured and to this day she is a whole per- 
son. Thus the Lord favors us ; but how many are 
ignorant of his grace. The spirit of which she 
was possessed is called Sai-pyol-sang, and is 
very wicked. If one should serve it, it will be 
diflEicult to eat food brought in from another 
house, and if the attempt is made to eat without 
first having prayed to the spirit, sickness will 
result. It is also difificult to bring into the house 
clothing. If a person brings a bright-colored 
cloth into the house without first acknowledging 
the spirit, sickness will surely result. This family 
having once worshiped the spirit and now propos- 


ing to cast it away, received this trial ; for on the 
day the woman took sick, some new cloth had 
been brought into the house, and the devil being- 
angered at thus being ignored punished his former 
slaves." Thus closed his narrative. Mrs. Jones 
says that she supposes the phy.sicians would pro- 
nounce it a case of hysteria; but whatever this 
may have been, the Christians feel that she was 
healed by their pra5^ers. 

Certain it is that for many a Korean the aban- 
donment of spirit-worship is one of the most 
serious steps than can possibly be taken. Here 
is an instance in point. A female inquirer who 
felt it her duty to give up the worship, and doubt- 
ing her own courage, called in Miss Ellen Strong 
of our mission to help her destroy the imple- 
ments of worship. At the appointed time she 
came and found the woman looking deathly pale 
and fairly sick from a sense of the seriousness of 
the step she was about to take, and rather dis- 
posed to give up the effort. It took considerable 
persuasion upon the part of Miss Strong to get 
up her courage to the point of action, and then 
she had to take the initiative in the destruction of 
the spirit "nests" and the other utensils. Only 
when the operations were well under way did her 
hostess venture to take an active part in the pro- 
ceedings. We are utterly unable to appreciate the 
terror which, under such circumstances, must fill 
the heart of a Korean woman who had lived 
all her life under the fear of the demons. 


The following extract from a report of Mrs. J. 
S. Gale, made to one of the annual meetings of 
onr mission, admirabl}' shows the change that 
comes into the lives of Koreans when they pass 
from demon-worshipers to followers of Jesus 
Christ: "In the early spring" (1S95) "Mrs. Kim 
and Mrs. Kwon came to me, and they said their 
husbands had been attending the men's meetings 
upon the hill, and they had heard that Jesus 
Christ could cast out devils, and that was just 
what they wanted him to do for them. Their 
houses were full of evil spirits, they said. They 
could not sleep for the strange sights and sounds. 
Sometimes it seemed as if sand were dashed 
against their windows, and again as if water were 
being poured from one dish into another. Night 
after night they had searched for the cause of 
these disturbances, with no other result than to 
find the cup-boards and dishes moving about the 
house in a mysterious way, and large earthen 
jars placed inside others which had such narrow 
necks that none but supernatural power could 
have gotten them in, and no one could get them 
out. They had spent much time and money in 
devil worship and sacrificing, hoping in that 
way to get some peace. But things only grew 
worse. Their husbands had heard at the meet- 
ings that Jesus Christ could cast out evil spirits, 
and if this was true, they wanted to know what 
they must do in order to get him to cast them out 
of their homes. We sat down on the rug and 


spent most of the afternoon reading the Scripture 
accounts of Christ's power over devils. And they 
were so glad to learn that 'He is the same yester- 
day, today and forever. ' They learned also how 
the presence of the Holy Spirit in their homes 
would be a safeguard against the Evil One. It 
was not long before I heard that these women had 
given up all sacrificing and devil-worship, and 
were praying God to send the Holy Spirit to dwell 
with them. Soon they came to tell me that their 
homes were all peaceful. No more strange sights 
or sounds. No more sorcerers or exorcists. No 
more fear or devil-worship. But such joy and 
happiness as they had never known. They and 
their neighbors were filled with awe and wonder 
and wanted me to come and teach them more 
about the Holy Spirit and Jesus." 

Let me say, in closing this chapter, that it is 
easy for us as Westerners to ridicule the supersti- 
tions of the Koreans; but if we, in a spirit of 
sympathy, assume for a time their angle of vision, 
we can see that to them the fear of demons is the 
cause of frequent and intense mental suffering. 



It was at the time of the year when the streets 
of Seoul were resplendent with little children 
adorned, like Joseph of old, in "coats of many 
colors." It was the time when their elders, clad 
in new garments of spotless white, went about 
visiting their friends with Oriental effusiveness 
of respect, and at the same time contracted indi- 
gestion from eating so-called rice "bread" of the 
consistency of putty. In short, it was the Korean 
New Year season of the year 1889. At perhaps 
four o'clock of one bright, mild February after- 
noon I strolled up to the dispensary at Dr. Her- 
on's house. The doctor's salutation was: "Gifford, 
don't you want to go hunting at the river?" Now 
I am so uncertain a huntsman that the ducks all 
laugh when they see me coming with a gun. I 
saw little use of my going upon a hunt. But a 
glance at the doctor's tired face changed my 
mind. The doctor was a man of such professional 
conscientiousness that he little knew how to 
spare himself. He had a dispensary at his home, 
where he saw Koreans and foreigners in the 
mornings ; he was surgeon in charge of the royal 
government hospital, where he spent his after- 



noons; he was physician to his majesty, liable to 
calls at all hours; and added to this, he had 
charge of the entire foreign practice of Seoul. 
His wife was then an invalid, confined to her bed, 
and much of the care of the Presbyterian Mission, 
then in its day of beginnings, rested upon his 
shoulders. Yes, I would go with him, but to 
skate, not to hunt. Two white horses were called 
up, one which the doctor had purchased for his 
wife, and the other a loan to him from the king's 
stables, for the doctor had a Tennesseean's fond- 
ness for horses. Two servants carried our accou- 

A pleasant ride brought us to the vicinity of 
Yong-san upon the river's bank. Instead of 
pausing here, however, we rode still farther up 
the river to a cluster of houses where lumber is 
cut and timbers prepared, conspicuous from the 
distance for a goodly tiled house and a clump of 
splendid great beech trees. Arrived here the 
view was fine. Downward to the steamer landing 
the river swept, with a bank that was a perfect 
curve. In the background rose the bluff, man- 
tled to the very top with the populous village of 
Yong-san, in the center of which, like a bright 
clasp, was set the red-brick Catholic Seminary. 

We were soon off our horses. The winter had 
been mild, and to my disappointment such ice as 
remained on the river looked too fragile for skat- 
ing. The interest therefore all centered in the 


There is a place near here in the river, especially 
where the river bends, the surface of which, even 
in the coldest winters when the ice in other places 
has been eight or more inches thick, I have never 
seen frozen over. Warm springs in the river 
doubtless account for this; and here, all winter 
long, waterfowls are feeding. At the water's 
edge below us was a row of large boats; beyond 
was a shell of thin ice, and still beyond was open 
water. In this open water was a succession of 
groups of wild swans, ranged down the stream 
like the links of a chain. One group in particular 
was not far away ; and the doctor, eager for a 
shot, threw off his overcoat, which he replaced 
with a "turimachi, " or long white outer-gar- 
ment borrowed from a Korean. While I hid my- 
self behind a pile of brush, he craftily sauntered 
down to the water's edge, in the hope that the 
birds might mistake him for an innocent-minded 
native puttering among the boats. But no, the 
swans, turning their graceful necks, gazed 
warily at the doctor, and, taking alarm, quickly 
glided out of range. Bat the doctor was a 
man of spirit, and was not so easily to be outdone. 
Presently he was hard at work, tugging at this 
great boat, shoving that one with all his might. 
But his efforts were in vain. The tide, so power- 
ful along the coasts of Korea, was low in the river, 
and the boats could not be floated; and in addi- 
tion, most of them were partly embedded in ice. 
A few moments later the doctor, some distance 


away, has found a skiff. He motions for me to 
come. The boat is made of pine boards clumsily 
tacked together. We have no business to enter it. 
But the fever of the hunt is upon us, and we are 
not disposed to be critical. In we clamber, 
followed by two half-grown boys to row us. The 
doctor's handsome black dog sprang into the 
water to follow us, but gesticulations and splash- 
ings of the water induced her to swim back to the 
shore. And now we are rapidly approaching the 
flock that eluded us, the doctor in the prow and the 
two lads erect and swaying to and fro as they 
impel the boat by sculling in the peculiar native 
fashion. Hope is vivid; but the wily swans, too, 
are alert. They raise together, their pon- 
derous wings pounding the water, and take their 
flight to soar into the upper air. Failure only 
urges the doctor on to seek the next flock farther 
down the river. This flock, on being approached, 
similarly took to flight; and the third, fourth, 
and fifth flocks followed their example. Lastly 
three or four ducks were started, and these, fl5^ing 
somewhat nearer to our boat, the doctor ven- 
tured to fire at them, though I believe without 
disastrous effect upon the birds. 

Then simultaneously the thought occurred to us 
both, "It is almost time for the gates to close." 
In those ante-bellum days, every night shortly 
after sundown, with a bray of horns and boom 
of base-drum, the guardians of the city's peace 
caused the great gates of the city to be closed, 


and then retired to rest in the comforting 
delusion that all had been done that was neces- 
sary to keep out of the capital any hostile foe, even 
were he trained according to Western military 
methods — a system, indeed, of about as much 
practical efficacy as if a council of lambs should 
decide to ward off the attacks of wolves by the 
defensive use of their heels. The closing of the 
gates, with certain other ancient and interesting 
customs, has now passed out of vogue, to be sure, 
but in those days it was certainly no joke for the 
belated foreigner to find himself confronted of an 
evening by the closed leaves of two great, fold- 
ing, iron-clad gates. It involved the staying out- 
side the city all night, or climbing the high, slip- 
pery wall ; but, be it whispered, the occasional jingle 
of a string of cash operated like magic in swing- 
ing open the portals, just as it was currently 
riimored, though of course most slanderously, 
that a similar jingle, only in greater volume, 
opened in the same magic way doors leading to 
rank and place in the governmental world. In a 
word, we little relished the idea of climbing the 
city wall after dark. 

We must hurry. We could see the servants and 
horses on the shore, but could we get to them? 
A long field of ice lay between us and the bank. 
There was nothing to do but to row back up the 
river to our starting-place. The boys were not 
rowing fast enough. We took the oar in turn and 
rowed after the foreign fashion. But the oar 


being- peculiar our efforts were clumsy, and not 
unlikely the wrenching of the boat resulting 
therefrom started the seams. Of a sudden we 
became aware that considerable water had come 
in through the bottom. By this time the boys 
were rowing. We observe that the water is 
coming in much faster. The boys are now swing- 
ing at the sculling-oar with all their strength, 
and with the prow headed for the ice. Now 
and again, in their frantic endeavors, they drive 
the boat into the ice, and the seams are opened 
wider. Higher, higher creeps the water. Then, 
in a moment I can never forget, I see the prow 
pause for a moment, then sink out of sight under 
the black, cold water. Neither of us could swim. 
In a moment down we all went. It all happened 
in less time than suffices for the telling. My 
thought, as I sank, was to grasp at the boat 
when I came to the surface. 

And now this is our situation. We are on a 
sand-bar in the very middle of the river. I am 
standing in water up to my waist; the doctor is 
in water up to his arm-pits, while only the heads 
of the boys are visible. Natives told us afterward 
that only a few feet on either side of where we 
sank the water was deep enou^fh to have drowned 
us. Fortunately we were close to the ice. The 
doctor was presently clambering out, his gun still 
firmly grasped in his hand. Next, the boys were 
trying in vain to leap out of the water. They were 
in my wa}^ as I came to where they clung at the 


edge of the ice. So I reached down till I could 
grasp their baggy trousers and heaved them on 
like logs, and presently we were all upon the ice. 
A glance at the ice-field was not reassuring. It 
was shell-ice with black air-holes all about us. 
Our location was about half-way between Yong- 
san and the hamlet with the beech trees. Those 
on shore were aware of our peril. In after days, 
when we could think of our misfortunes with 
greater cheerfulness, the doctor, with that pecul- 
iar, half-satirical twitch of his heavily mustached 
upper lip, would tell of the tremulousness of my 
tones as I called '' Ossa, ossa" (hurry, hurry), 
and I believe I responded that his voice had taken 
on a hoarseness that was hardly natural. But if 
we are frightened, the boys are terrified. 
One is dancing about in a way that threatens to 
break the ice. Expostulations are unheeded. 
Only one thing remains: the doctor points his 
empty gun at the frantic youth, with the command 
to desist. Now force is an argument the validity 
of which, from centuries of use, the average 
Korean is prompt to recognize. The boy sub- 
sides. Soon quiet settles upon our group as we 
recognize that the men on shore are doing 
all that can be done, and that we dare not move 
about for fear of breaking the thin ice. The 
doctor, in his white Korean coat, sits upon the ice 
with his gun across his lap; I am kneeling with 
my overcoat tucked under my knees; one boy is 
standing erect and the other lad is seated. Night 


has now fallen, and from the overclouded sky 
the full moon sheds a dim and hazy light. Not a 
ripple stirs the water, and a deep quiet rests upon 
the river. True, we hear faintly, from the hamlet 
with the beech trees, the hum of voices, and 
sounds that sug-gest the chopping of ice around 
the ice-bound boats. As silent and motionless as 
a group of statuary, we keep our several attitudes 
for the space of an hour. The mental tension is 

Finally we observe that water to the depth of 
an inch has come over the ice. The tide is com- 
ing in! Now the water has risen to the depth of 
two or three inches. Then we are conscious that 
the cake upon which we are seated has broken 
loose from the ice-field, and is turning around, 
preparatory to floating down the river. Our 
danger now is great, for should our frail raft 
strike against an obstruction, we would inevitably 
sink beneath the deep black waters. 

But just then from an unobserved quarter, the 
direction of the village of Yong-san, came the 
sound of the plash of an oar. Through the dim 
moonlight we discern a boat with five rescuers 
approaching. The revulsion of feeling was strong. 
But still we dreaded lest, by the ungentle striking 
of the boat against the ice, we should be precipi- 
tated into the stream. Under the doctor's direc- 
tions they reach the edge of the ice without mis- 
hap. A long oar is extended toward us, which 
we, beginning with the boys, grasp each in turn, 


and, sliding, are pulled to the edge of the boat 
and thus rescued. What ecstatic joy fills our 
hearts ! 

Upon reaching terra firma,the servants bring the 
horses. But to ride to Seoul from Yong-san in 
our frozen garments is out of the question. The 
doctor, full of resource, at once calls for Korean 
clothes. They are soon brought. We do not stop 
to enter a house, but under the dim moonlight, in 
an apartment walled about with living heads, we 
take off such garments as are wet or stiffened 
with ice, and replace them with the baggy Ko- 
rean clothes, even to the straw sandals. The ' 
thought of the doctor's sick wife at home lends 
wings to his speed. In a moment he is ready and off 
on his horse. Our wet clothes are slapped together 
promiscuously upon a carrier's frame, and are 
started ahead upon the back of a coolie. Formal 
thanks to our benefactors are reserved for a later 
time and a form more substantial than words. 
Now, with the servant running beside, I set out at 
a rapid gait for the city, which brings again the 
glow of warmth into my frozen limbs. 

Arrived at the city wall, the horse and servant 
must stay outside until the morning; and there 
is nothing for nie to do but to clamber up the 
twenty feet of sheer stone wall. A man sent by 
the doctor is waiting to accompany me over the 
wall. Side by side he climbs with me, now draw- 
ing back my Korean robe so that I shall not be 
impeded, now guiding my hands to safe projec- 


tions. Near the top he hastens ahead and pulls 
me over the wall. Thence a short, brisk walk 
brings me to the doctor's home, where I find him 
already arrived and clothed in his usual attire. 
Congratulations alternate with merriment at my 
appearance, while underneath it all was deep 
thankfulness for the Providence that had rescued 
us from peril. The next morning the servants 
who had accompanied us remarked that we were 
"as men who had come back froin the dead." 
And I think they were correct. Two or three 
days later the two boys came to see us, and they 
reported that their mother, instead of rendering 
thanks to such deities as she knew, had soundly 
trounced them both, though for what reason they 
did not state. But as we fed them with Korean 
sweetmeats and gave them a proper amount of 
cash, I think that we consoled them. 



With the exception of Thibet, which has its 
missionaries, yet keeps them barred be3^ond closed 
gates, Korea is the youngest of the missionary 
countries. Rev. John Ross, of IMoukden, although 
a missionary to the Chinese in Manchuria, prior to 
the time of the signing of the treaties, became 
very much interested in the people of Korea 
through men of that land whom he met in Mouk- 
den, and who were able to converse with him 
through written Chinese. With the information 
thus acquired, he wrote a book in iSSo, entitled 
"Corea, its History, Manners and Customs." He 
also emplo3'ed some of these men to translate the 
entire New Testament into the Unmun. As a 
pioneer version it was good ; but it would have been 
more available for use among the common people 
had Mr. Ross himself been personally acquainted 
with the language, so as to supervise the work of his 
Korean translators. His very great interest in 
the people was still further shown by his sending 
across the border into the north of the country 
Korean colporteurs with books; one of whose 
number, Mr. Saw, started the now flourishing 
work at Chang-yen in the Whang- Hai province, 



and later became one of the most valued helpers 
our Presbyterian mission has ever possessed. 

The American Protestant missionary aiitliorities 
were prompt to avail themselves of the oppor- 
tunity, afforded them by the signing- of the treaty 
in 1882, to enter the "Forbidden Land." In 
the spring of 1884, J. W. Heron, M.D., received 
appointment from the Northern Presbyterian 
Board to go to Korea. His departure, however, 
was delayed. In the summer of the same year 
Rev. Dr. R. S. McClay, of the Japan Methodist 
Conference, made a flying visit to Korea to spy 
out the land. The first Protestant missionary, 
however, to enter the country with the view to 
permanent abode was Dr. H.N. Allen, our present 
U. S. Minister to Korea, who, with his family, 
was transferred by the Presbyterian Board from 
China to Korea in the autum.n of 1884. In a coun- 
try where the martyrdom of the French fathers 
and thousands of their fellows was still fresh in 
the memory, and where the prejudice against all 
Western religions was still strong, the Doctor 
found it convenient to lay more emphasis on the 
fact that he was the physician of the foreign 
legations than that he had come with the view to 
opening Protestant missionary work. Dr. Allen's 
judiciousness, together with the eclat given him 
by the royal favor, which was due to his success- 
ful surgical treatment of the sword-cuts inflicted 
upon Min Yong Ik, a cousin of the queen, in the 
troubles of 1884, and which resulted in his 


appointment as royal physician and surgeon in 
charge of the government hospital, no doubt 
materially smoothed the way for the labors of his 
clerical brethren who shortly followed him. In a 
very material way it may be said that the gates 
which long had been shut against the missionary 
worker were opened at the point of a lancet. In 
the spring of 1885, Rev. H. G. Underwood, of the 
Presbyterian Mission, who had spent several 
months in Japan studying the Korean language, 
appeared upon the scene. He was known by the 
authorities to be a clergyman, and as no objection 
to his coming was raised by them, he was followed 
in the summer by W. B. Scranton, M.D., and 
family, and Rev. and Mrs. H. G. Appenzeller of 
the M. E. Mission. Soon after came J. W. 
Heron, M.D., and wife, and presently Mrs. M. 
F. Scranton appeared to join her son and enter 
upon school and women's work. The reception 
afforded by the nobility and common people alike 
to these "visitors from the West," who had 
brought with them their wives and their belong- 
ings, was an interesting compound of curiosity 
and courtesy. The missionary, meanwhile, was 
left to quietly push his work. That no conserva- 
tive reaction should result, however, was more 
than could be expected. In 1S8S the ancient 
canard, that has made so much trouble in China, 
that the missionaries were stealing and killing 
babies for medicinal purposes, created a tempo- 
rary disturbance in Seoul; and about this time the 


authorities sought to restrict the so-called 
' ' proselyting' ' done by the missionaries. It raised 
a difficult question of conscience for us workers 
on the field. No one thought seriously of aban- 
doning our religious work. Some believed that, 
like Peter and John under similar circumstances, 
they should appeal to a "higher law"; while 
others thought it the part of wisdom to bend 
temporarily before the storm, and pursue for a 
time "quieter methods," such, for instance, as 
the omission of the singing of hymns from the 
order of the church services. A year passed 
away, and scarcely a ripple remained to tell of 
the once perturbed waters. Unmolested, the 
work went steadily and strongly forward, with 
little of external history to record, until the 
spring of the year of the war, when there occurred 
the persecution of the Christians at Pyeng-yang, 
to be narrated in another chapter. In October, 
1895, occurred the Decennial of the Founding of 
Protestant Missions in Korea, upon which occa- 
sion a number of important papers were read. 

It should here be observed that, in addition to 
the two missions already mentioned, during the 
course of the years other sister missions came to 
their side, to join in the battle against heathen- 
ism. In 1889 came Presbyterian missionaries 
from far Australia; also in the same year Mr. M. 
C. Fenwick, of Canada, of the "Korean Itinerant 
Mission." In 1890, the genial Bishop F. J. C. 
Corfe arrived from England, with the representa- 


tives of the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel. In the same year appeared Dr. and Mrs. 
R. A. Hardie, of the Y. M. C. A. mission of 
Canada. In 1892 came our brothers of the 
Southern Presbyterian Mission. In 1895 appeared 
representatives of the training-school founded by 
the late Dr. Gordon, of Boston. Their official 
title is the "Ella Thing Memorial Mission," and 
they are Baptist in belief. In 1896, Rev. Dr. C. 
F. Reid, the well-known Chinese missionary, 
came as the advance-guard of the American 
Methodist Mission, South. 

We have a roll of honor in Korea — those who 
have been summoned to a higher service and a 
richer life in the realm beyond the grave. There 
was Miss Anna P. Jacobsen, the trained nurse, 
with all the splendid fire and courage of her 
Viking ancestry; and Hugh Brown, M.D., full of 
sturdy strength; and John W. Heron, M.D., the 
soul of fidelity and honor — one whom all his 
friends loved as strongly as a blood relation. 
These were members of the Northern Presbyte- 
rian Mission. There was also the Australian 
Presbyterian missionary, Rev. John Henry Dav- 
ies, who gave the promise of becoming the best 
all-round missionary in the land; and the tall, 
swarthy Presbyterian brother from Nova Scotia, 
Rev. William J. McKenzie, the successful advo- 
cate of native self-support; also William J. Hall, 
M. D. , of the Northern Methodist Mission, the saint- 
liest man that ever crossed the shores of Korea. 

A Member of the Official Class. 


There has always been a marked spirit of 
comity among the missionaries of Korea. The 
Methodist and Presbyterian missions, founded at 
about the same time, grew up together like two 
children. They had much the same expei-iences, 
and in a number of ways they united their work. 
The missions coming into the field at a later 
period imbibed the same fraternal spirit; and the 
whole work has thus far been conducted along the 
lines of certain well-marked, though imwritten, 
rules of comity. While the polic}' of the missions 
was still in a formative state, it was impossible for 
all to see eye to eye, but in those days the lines of 
cleavage ran nowhere near to the denominational 
walls. For instance, this was the case at the time 
when we were threatened with the transplanta- 
tion of the "term question" to Korea. This 
controversy originated two hundred years ago 
between the Jesuit and Dominican missionaries 
in China. When the Protestant missionaries 
came, they took up the controversy where the 
others had left off, and for forty years their 
scholars argued the question. They may be at 
it yet, for aught that I know to the contrary. 
The question is simply this: the Chinese, and the 
Koreans too, recognize a supreme deity who, by 
the Chinese, is called Shangti and by the Koreans, 
Hananim, and of whom their conceptions are 
pure, thovigh very vague. The term question, 
then, consists in whether or not it is allowable to 
adopt as the name for God the term Shangti, or 


Hananim, and explain our conception of Him by 
the attributes we affirm of God. In Korea, rather 
than bequeath to our posterity an endless debate, 
the solution of the whole matter at which we 
arrived was that we cease to look for uniformity, 
and allow each person to use whatever one of 
half a dozen available terms he preferred. 

The first ten years of mission work, terminating 
in 1894, the year of the war, was a period of 
preparation. We were learning Korean, and, what 
is still more important, Koreans. The prepara- 
tion of a Christian literature had to be begun. 
We had all the difficulties that usually attend 
the process of getting our religion rooted in a 
new heathen soil. The people at large were 
invariably suspicious of us and our religion. 
Now and then whole groups of men would show 
an interest in our preaching ; but because perhaps 
their mercenary aims had not been satisfied, or 
perhaps they lacked the moral courage to aban- 
don their vices and heathen practices, their inter- 
est was not permanent. But, on the other hand, 
there were individuals and there were communi- 
ties where the Gospel wrought a marked change 
in lives. Such converts, under careful Bible 
training, developed into excellent workers. Then 
came the war, and since then, beginning with the 
province in which Seoul is located and stretching 
away to the northern frontier, on the western side 
of the peninsula, there is a section of country 
where a marked forward religious movement has 


been in progress, and in which the active agents 
have been largely the Korean Christians them- 



Some people are of the opinion that anyone will 
do for a foreign missionary. Let us see. I have 
sometimes thought that, considering the expert 
knowledge which his circumstances from time to 
time require of the worker in foreign lands, that 
to be ideally prepared^ the new missionary would 
reach his field of labor at the age of sixty years. In 
the first place, he must have a thorough collegiate 
education ; and then he certainly must secure his 
diploma from the theological seminary. After 
this, he might take a year or two of study in the 
English Bible. And then, considering how well 
the art of the physician prepares the way for the 
acceptance of the message of the preacher, he 
might take a course in the medical college. 
Again, in the assignment of work, he is liable to 
be put in charge of a boys* school or "missionary 
college"; and who thinks of teaching school in 
these days of improved methods without a course 
of study in some normal school? For his transla- 
tion work, he must be a trained linguist. Again, 
the native Christians are constantly bringing to 
him new and intricate questions, soliciting his 
advice, and the administrative work, which takes 



so much of his time likewise calls for a judicially 
trained mind; see how he would be benefited by 
a course at the law school ! In preaching to the 
unconverted his audience is not composed of 
intelligent heathen, as at home, but of heathen 
densely ignorant of the Gospel; how, then, 
shoiild he know the most effective methods for 
evangelistic preaching? From the number of his 
native converts promising young men must be 
selected and trained into preachers of the Gospel ; 
what an advantage to him to fill a professorship 
in a theological seminary for a time ! Then he is 
liable to be made a treasurer of his mission or 
station ; several years' service as a bookkeeper in 
a bank would splendidly fit him for his position. 
Mareover, houses must be built, and the chief 
business of the native carpenter is to cheat him 
by day and by night, so perforce the missionary 
becomes his own contractor. How could the 
prospective missionary better fit himself for a 
very necessary part of his work, than by driving 
nails through an apprenticeship under a compe- 
tent builder? Again, the zeal of the contributors 
at home must be fed with the fuel of a constant 
stream of journalistic articles from the pen of the 
man on the field ; a period of training as reporter 
on the "Daily Hustler" would give him just the 
literary style required for this portion of his 
work. But, to speak in all seriousness, no moral 
nor intellectual weakling will do for a foreign 
missionary; and the more thorough his train- 


ing and the broader his experience, the better 
are his chances of success. 

Let nie here quote the admirable missionary 
qualifications named by Dr. George Smith, at the 
convention of Student Volunteers, at Keswick, 
England, in July of 1893: 

1. He should be conscious of the call of Christ 
and the gift of the Spirit. 

2. He should covet earnestly the possession of 
the highest efficiency. 

3. He must follow fully the rule of Christian 
charity and good temper. 

4. He must learn habits of order and business 
abilit}', that will make him a wise steward of his 
Lord's money. 

5. He must be sympathetic and loving toward 
native graces. 

6. He must give himself to unceasing prayer. 

7. He must yield absolute submission to the 
mind and will of God. 

Allow me to add one word more ; he must pos- 
sess unquenchable patience. 

With what interest do we look forward to the 
coming of the new missionary. We expect him 
to settle off-hand the questions that have per- 
plexed us for years, upon the mere statement of 
the difficulty. But, strange to remark, the Pres- 
byterian Board in New York places such a value 
upon his judgment that it will not let him vote 
until he has lived for a year upon the field; and 
its Korea mission has added the further require- 


ment, that he can then vote only after having 
passed successfully his first year's examination in 
the language. I shall always remember the reply 
of that prince of missionaries, the lamented Rev. 
Dr. J. L. Nevius, of Chefoo, when, in answer to 
a query of mine relating to some question of mis- 
sion policy in the conduct of schools, he replied: 
"If you had asked me that question twenty years 
ago, I could have told you. Now I do not know." 
In passing, let me pay a deserved tribute to the 
memory of that great and good man. In the 
spring of 1890, in the days when we, too, of the 
Presbyterian Mission in Korea, were "young 
missionaries," Dr. and Mrs. Nevius paid a visit 
to Seoul; and they so won our eager attention 
with their loving and wise counsels, that, as the 
result of their visit, our entire mission policy was 
altered for the better. 

We come now to organization. In Korea, two 
types of mission organization prevail. In one 
type all the authority and power are vested in 
one inan, the bishop. Such are the Roman Cath- 
olic and English Church missions. The Metho- 
dist Mission would probably come under this class, 
for certainly the Northern Methodist Mission is 
visited yearly by a bishop from America, who 
holds an annual conference and settles all impor- 
tant questions of mission policy. A number of 
the bishops, I may remark, have endeared them- 
selves to the members of the foreign community 
in Seoul by holding meetings open to the gen- 


eral public, for the deepening' of religious life. In 
the intervals between visits, the authority resides 
largely in a mission superintendent appointed 
by the bishop, though considerable power adheres 
in the general body of workers. The other type 
of organization is that of control by the mission 
itself, as exemplified in the Baptist and Presby- 
terian missions. In the matter of church organi- U 
zation, to assist in the oversight of the native 
work, our Methodist brethren are accustomed to 
license yearly Korean local preachers and 
exhorters. In the matter of church membership, 
they hav^e two classes, full members and proba- 
tioners, with the further distinction that some 
adult applicants receive baptism and some do 
not, while in a state of probation. 

The Northern, Southern, and Australian Pres- 
byterian missions of Korea, with an independent 
Canadian missionary, have combined their native 
work under one church organization, to which 
they have given the general name of "Jesus Doc- 
trine Church." The male members of these mis- 
sions are organized into a "Council of Presbyterian 
Missionaries," which is the highest church court 
we possess. In time this body will be trans- 
formed into a presb3-tery, or synod, when our 
Korean brethren become eligible for membership, 
for as yet we have no ordained native ministers 
and only one ruling elder. In a number of 
churches Korean deacons have been ordained, 
and in the course of time the other orders of 


church officers will be set apart for their respon- 
sible positions. In our entire church government 
we have what might be termed a preliminary- 
organization. In localities where missionaries 
reside the churches are governed by foreign 
sessions, in which the Korean deacons have a 
seat, with the privileges of the floor, but no vote. 
The work in the country districts is organized 
along the line of the so-called Nevius system. 
From the circle of believers in a given village are 
chosen one or two of the most suitable men, who 
are called "leaders," to whom are assigned the care 
of the church services and the oversight of the be- 
lievers, but without the power to administer the 
sacraments. The West Gate Church of Seoul and 
the church in the city of Pyeng-yang have both 
a foreign session and a body of Korean leaders. 

The country churches are visited periodically 
by the missionary in charge, or his Korean 
helper. Once a year a training-class is held at the 
mission station, and the missionary invites these 
leaders up for a term of study in the Bible. In 
the taking of members into the church, we find it 
wise to use the utmost caution. When the session, 
or itinerating minister with sessional powers, 
feels reasonably sure that a given person is a 
Christian, then, with certain public ceremonies in 
the church, the man is enrolled as a "catechumen," 
or applicant for baptism. He thereupon joins the 
catechumen class, with a prescribed course of 
study in the Bible and certain Christian books. 


The general rule is that he wait at least six 
months before he be given church membership. 
The sessional examinations for admission to the 
church — I can speak with certainty for Seoul — are 
made very thorough, something between the 
similar examination of candidates in the home-land 
and the ordeal through which the young minister 
passes when examined by his presbytery for the 
licensure to preach. If the session feels satisfied 
with the examination, he is baptized and taken 
into the church ; if the contrary is the case, he is 
asked to wait for a time, until his grasp of the 
truth is clearer, or, for instance, until he keeps 
the Sabbath better or attends with regularity the 
mid-week prayer-meeting. 

Let us turn our attention to the work of the 
medical missionar}\ There is no doubt that in 
the early days of our Protestant missionary work 
in Korea, the doctor and the teacher, but more 
especially the doctor, did a preliminary work 
which made possible the labors of their clerical 
brethren. Let us watch a day's work in the 
Presbyterian hospital, under the charge of Dr. O. 
R. Avison, in the buildings kindly loaned to the 
mission by his majesty, who has in many ways 
shown his appreciation of the missionaries' aim 
and work, as when, in an audience he accorded to 
Bishop Ninde, of the Methodist church, early in 
1895, he directly requested him to send more 
missionaries. In the wards each morning, pray- 
ers, with a suitable amount of religious teaching, 


are conducted by the doctor. There is a pay- 
ward and a general ward. The foreign lady 
nurse, with the aid of a corps of three or four 
bright-faced Korean hospital assistants, attends to 
the dressings of the patients. Perhaps a surgical 
operation is on hand, over in the large operating 
room, when the entire force must be present ; or 
the doctor calls the young fellows above men- 
tioned, who are also studying medicine with him, 
into his room for a medical lecture. The after- 
noon comes, and a group of men are seen outside 
in the court or in the room provided for them, 
waiting for the dispensary to open. A little bell 
tinkles, and a man holding a strip of wood in his 
hands, on which is marked a given number in 
Chinese characters, arises and goes within to the 
doctor, to be followed shortly by the man with the 
next higher number. Presently, a clerical mis- 
sionary or Korean helper joins the waiting group 
to tell them that there is healing for their sin-sick 
souls as well as for the ills of the body. A Chris- 
tian bookstore adjoins the waiting-room. Tinkle, 
tinkle, and another man goes inside. Let us go 
with him. In the dispensary we find the doctor 
and his assistants. The cases are disposed of 
systematically and rapidly. The name of the man 
and the nature of his trouble go into the register. 
If it be medicine that is required, a prescription 
is promptly written and passed in to the youth in 
the drug room. If a minor operation be neces- 
sary, the instruments swiftly do their work. A 


nominal charge covering the cost of the medicines 
is made in a number of the cases. And so the 
afternoon passes in the effort to bring help to the 
bodies and souls of a few of this world's sick ones. 
There is a women's department of the hospital, 
with a lady physician to meet the patients. But, 
in considering this branch of the work, I am 
going to take you to the women's hospital of the 
Methodist Mission, in the center of the foreign 
settlement. We find Doctor Mary M. Cut- 
ler in charge. Her small, but well-appointed 
hospital nestles beside the street under the hill of 
the large girls' school. In addition to Korean 
female assistants, some of whom are graduates of 
the school, she has the help of missionary work- 
ers, one a trained nurse and one a Bible worker. 
To the hospital come the women, some in closed 
chairs and some on foot. Part of the work is 
done in the hospital, and part in the homes of the 
patients, and in both places we can be certain 
that the Gospel truth is faithfully taught. The 
diseases the doctors meet with are chiefly malaria, 
indigestion, worms, skin diseases, eye troubles, 
bone and joint diseases, consumption, venereal 
diseases, smallpox, remittent fever, a species of 
typhus fever called impiuug, and occasionally 
a leper is seen. The native doctors have their 
herbs and mixtures, some of which are fairly 
good. In their practice they frequently stick 
needles into the flesh, and apply the burning 
of the moxa to the skin; but of surgery they 


have absolutely no knowledge and it is here that 
the foreign doctor makes his reputation. 

There is one sharp distinction between the 
heathen and the Christian spirit. The heathen 
helps his relative or the member of his guild or 
insurance society, who can be relied upon to help 
him in turn in the hour of need; but for the poor 
unfortunate whose only claim is the bond of a 
common humanity, he does absolutely nothing. 
On the other hand, the Christian, in the spirit of 
the Good Samaritan, not merely looks with com- 
passion upon the suffering stranger, but cares for 
him as well, either as an individual or collectively 
by the erection of hospitals and asylums of every 
description. Here is an instance: A few years 
ago, at certain seasons of the year, both inside 
and outside of the west wall of Seoul, you might 
have seen numbers of the sick and dying stretched 
upon the ground. They were people afflicted 
with contagious diseases, servants or poor people 
occupying buildings in the compounds of more 
prosperous Koreans, wlio had cruelly turned them 
into the streets to die. This is, however, no 
longer the case ; for Christian philanthropy has 
provided, outside the west gate of the city, the 
"Frederick Underwood Shelter," where the out- 
cast sick may resort for shelter and medical care. 
In connection with this institution, Mrs. Dr. 
Underwood conducts a dispensary. 

What an arsenal is to an army, such the mission 
press is to the band of missionary workers. The 


Tri-lingual press of the Methodist Mission, 
founded by our large-hearted brother, the Rev. 
F. Ohlinger, now returned to his former field in 
Foochow, China, furnishes the American mission- 
aries with the larger part of their missionary liter- 
ature. They are able to print in English, 
Unmun or Chinese, whence the mission press gets 
its name. Without neglecting other forms of 
work, there is a considerable literary activity on 
the part of the missionaries. First and most 
important is Bible translation. Engaged in this 
work are the following Board of Bible Transla- 
tors: Messrs. W. D. Reynolds, of the Southern 
Presbyterian Mission; H. G. Appenzeller and 
W. B. Scranton, of the Northern M. E. Mission; 
M. N. Trollope, of the English Church Mission; 
J. S. Gale and H. G, Underwood, representing 
the Northern Presbyterian Mission. They have 
translated the Gospels, Acts and about one half 
of the Pauline Epistles. When a translator has 
finished a given book of the Scriptures, he pre- 
pares a blankbook with vertically ruled columns, 
as many as there are translators, and in the right- 
hand columns he writes his own translation. The 
book is then handed around, and his colleagues 
write, in the columns assigned to them, their 
renderings of the text. It eventually returns to 
the translator, who prepares his final copy in the 
light of the suggestions of the others. The cost 
of publishing is borne by the American and the 
British and Foreign Bible societies. We are able 


to use to a limited extent Christian literature 
printed in Chinese, sent us from Shanghai, but 
for the use of the common people we are obliged 
to print in Unmun, 

The Korean Religious Tract Society is another 
of our institutions, which is undenominational in 
character. This year it published some 37,000 
books and leaflets. With the exception of a few 
sheet tracts, the publications of the society are 
sold by the missionaries, as a rule, at a nominal 
price. It is believed that thereby the books meet 
with better treatment. Many of the missionaries 
in active work have translated a book or two, 
but the most prolific translators are probably Mr. 
Gale and Dr. Underwood. Each has prepared a 
text-book and a dictionary, besides translating 
parts of the Scriptures. Mr. Gale also published, 
with funds raised by Rev. Dr. A. T. Pierson, a 
translation of Pilgrim's Progress; and Dr. Under- 
wood has translated numerous tracts and hymns. 
The Korean Repository, published monthly in 
English, is a magazine that deals with Korean 
topics, some of a missionary character, but for 
the most part of a secular nature. The magazine 
has been commended by journals both in America 
and in the Far East for the bright, readable 
nature of its contents, much of the credit for 
which is due to the able editing of the Revs. H. 
G. Appenzeller and George Heber Jones, of the 
Methodist Mission. Two religious weekl}' news- 
papers printed in Unmun, the one the "Christian 


News," edited by Drs. Underwood and C. C. 
Vinton, the other the "Christian Advocate," with 
Rev. Mr. Appenzeller for editor, came into being 
last winter. 

I shall now ask my reader to draw upon his 
imagination a bit, and in fancy we shall step 
upon a magic carpet, like the enchanted objects 
of which you have read in the "Arabian Nights' 
Entertainments," and together we shall fly hither 
and thither about the country seeing how various 
kinds of evangelistic work are done by the differ- 
ent missionaries. Let us drop in upon Miss 
Mattie Tate, of the Southern Presbyterian Mission 
at Chun-ju, in the South, and observe her in her 
women's work. She has a room where she 
receives her Korean women visitors. As we see 
her, she has a group of women about her, all 
sitting on the floor. Many are old acquaint- 
ances; a few have come for the first time. The 
elaborate introductions, with the inquisitive ques- 
tions about age, etc., which they consider so 
polite, are now over. The conversation has been 
turned to religious topics, and she is teaching 
them the truths of the dear old Bible. Now one 
of the strangers breaks in with a question as to 
the texture of her foreign dress. Another one fol- 
lows with a story of her troubles. It is so hard for 
her, a widow woman, to live; and cannot the 
teacher help her? But other heads, bent in seri- 
ous thought, show that the spiritual words of the 
speaker have taken hold upon them, like the seed 


that fell on good ground in the parable of our 
Savior. The lady worker engaged in evangel- 
istic labor among the women, a form of work which 
the men, by reason of the customs of the country, 
are unable to do, also visits in the home of the 
women. She conducts one or two regular classes 
of Bible study for their benefit during the week ; 
sits with them on the women's side of the curtain 
at church, and occasionally gets into her "chair" 
(a box-like contrivance, composed of a frame and 
curtains, with a couple of parallel poles under- 
neath for the benefit of the coolies that carry her), 
and with a Korean Bible woman she goes out to 
teach the women in country villages. 

We will now drop down into Fusan to watch a 
winter training-class, such as Rev. W. M. Baird, 
of our mission, used to conduct there before his 
transfer to the more pressing work in the Pyeng- 
yang region. The teacher sits on the floor at the 
warm end of the room. Following Korean cus- 
tom, certain men, who, on account of their birth 
or knowledge, consider themselves superior to the 
others, have seated themselves next to him. Each 
has before him a Chinese Testament or a Unmun 
Gospel. Some have in front of them a note-book, 
an ink-stone, a small stick of ink, and some little 
brushes to take notes. They are studying one of 
the Gospels. The exercise begins with a quiz on 
yesterday's lesson, and then the lecture on the 
new chapter follows. These "leaders, " or if the 
work be less advanced, interesting inquirers from 


the country villages, have been specially invited 
to come up to the station for a month's or six 
weeks' study, and while the class is in session are 
entertained at mission expense. There are two 
or three lectures a day, studying the Bible as a 
whole or in parts, and the missionary gives his 
whole strength to the class while it is in session. 
All due attention is paid to exegesis, but the main 
emphasis is laid upon those scriptural truths which 
tend to deepen spiritual life and make aggressive 
workers. Much prayer also attends the gathering 
of the winter class, and we all feel that this form 
of work is one of the most profitable in which we 
can engage. 

Let us next step off at Gensan, upon the east 
coast of the country. We are in the native town. 
It is a busy time of the day, and the streets pre- 
sent an ever-changing picture of animated life. 
But before one little building is gathered the larg- 
est crowd. It is the street chapel of Rev. W. L. 
Swallen, of our Presbyterian mission. This has 
been his method of work: At a certain fixed hour 
in the day he has ridden over on his wheel from 
the foreign settlement. The windows and door 
facing the street have been opened wide. Just 
inside the door he and his helper, with possibly 
another Christian or two, have taken their stand. 
The old familiar strains of "Nearer, My God, to 
Thee," and "What Can Wash Away My Sins?" 
joined to not unmclodious Korean words, have 
rung out upon the street. In a very few minutes 


a crowd has gathered, curious to know the mean- 
ing of the unfamiliar sounds. On being invited 
in, they have speedily filled the room and throng 
outside about the windows and door, A word of 
quiet prayer is uttered, and then the helper begins 
an explanation. They are the believers in a doc- 
trine that puts into the heart a joy whose most 
natural expression is song. Then, to explain the 
doctrine, he tells them of God and His attributes, 
and how in His sight we all are sinners, and how 
Christ died to take away our sin and makes us at 
one with God. The majority of a street chapel 
audience are the rawest kind of heathen. Their 
creed might be summed up as follows : Get enough 
to eat; get enough to wear; indulge all j^our 
passions; honor your dead father; and keep the 
devils from harming you. They find it hard to 
understand our Christian terminology. The 
heathen Korean knov/s the Supreme Being as 
Hananiin, the "Lord of Heaven," and he thinks 
of Him vaguely as Providence, or God, as He is 
revealed in Nature. But that this Being takes 
note of his good or evil deeds seems never to have 
entered his head. The devils he knows better. 
The preacher speaks of "sin," and he thinks he 
is speaking of a fault, a mistake or a civil crime. 
That he should repent of his sins to God is to him 
an entirely new thought. He stumbles over the 
atonement like a modern Unitarian. The 
preacher speaks of "love to God," and uses a term 
containing a certain warmth; but the auditor 


finds it hard to grasp the thought, because in 
heathen usage the Koreans have no term expres- 
sive of the love of an inferior for his superior, but 
only a word that denotes profound respect. So, 
in chapel-preaching, the speaker can take nothing 
for granted, but must repeatedly explain those 
fimdamental truths which seem to us as clear as 
the statement that two and two make four. It is a 
form of preaching, too, that makes a man feel his 
utter personal weakness, and throws him back 
upon the power of God. The crowd in Mr. Swal- 
len's chapel is quiet and attentive in the main; 
but it is hard to tell from the apathetic faces what 
impression is really being made upon their hearts. 
Now a drunken man creates a temporary disturb- 
ance. Then a man in the crowd, by a flippant 
jeer, raises a laugh which is quickly silenced by 
the mentally alert helper. Still another man 
asks a series of questions that show his honest 
desire to know the truth. The helper finally 
ceases, and Mr. Swallen and the Christians in 
turn succeed him in the "scattering broadcast of 
the seed upon the waters." 

Now, upon the flying rag again, and we alight in 
one of the business streets of Seoul. Rev. E. C. 
Pauling, of the Bapti'St Mission, is standing 
quietly at one side of the street. Under his arm 
are animiber of tracts and leaflets. He opens one 
and quietly reads to himself. Instantly a Korean 
head straightens up and looks at him. Its owner 
edges nearer. The foreigner seems to take no 


notice; yet to all appearance unconsciously he has 
begun to read aloud. This is too much for the 
curiosity of the Koreans along the street, and in 
a moment a crowd has gathered about him. This 
is his opportunity, and he begins to preach much 
as our friends in the street chapel did. His 
helper presently relieves him. And then they 
distribute a number of leaflets, and the helper 
sells some books. This street-preaching, too, is a 
form of the broadcast sowing of Gospel seed. 

We now alight upon a commodious junk, going 
down the Han River from Seoul, with a boatman 
or two swaying from right to left at the great 
sciilling-oar. In a cozy little cabin at one end of 
the boat we find Rev. S. F. Moore, of our Pres- 
byterian Mission. He zealously devotes his entire 
time to one form or another of evangelistic work. 
He has done considerable work among the butch- 
ers, who occupy almost the lowest round in the 
Korean social ladder, and is now on his way down 
the river to visit his Christians in a number of 
villages scattered along the shore. 

Now, to see another form of teaching, which we 
call "Sarang work," we will return to the North 
Chulla province in the south, this time to the 
seaside village of Kunsan. Rev. W. M. Junkin, 
of the Southern Presbyterian Mission, sits in his 
sarang^ a thoroughly Korean room, where he 
sees his nativ^e guests. He and several Korean 
men sit on neatly woven mats of straw spread upon 
the comfortably heated floor. Mr. Junkin holds in 


his hand an Oxford Bible, and his helper has open 
before him a copy of the Chinese Scriptures, ready 
to render into the vernacular any passage he may 
indicate. Although the Chinese Bible is a sealed 
book to the common people, we missionaries, in 
our preaching and teaching, read it constantly to 
them through the eyes and lips of our helpers. 
An easy, pleasant conversation is apparently in 
progress. One man, with his hands clasped about 
his slightly elevated knees, in a mild excitement 
sits rocking to and fro as he talks. The ani- 
mated discussion which we here behold has for 
its theme the claims of the doctrines of the Chris- 
tian religion upon the belief of men. In connec- 
tion with the sarangs and street chapels, a number 
of the missionaries have small Christian book- 
stores which are conducted by their helpers. 
Some Christian quinine-sellers also keep our books 
in stock. 

Back again to Seoul we fly. Just as we pass 
through that magnificent piece of masonry, the 
South Gate of the city, we behold Dr. W. B. 
Scranton, the Superintendent of the Northern 
Methodist Mission, mounted on a bicycle. Behind 
him, led by a well-browned boy, smartly steps a 
Korean pony, sleigh-bells jingling at his neck, 
laden with a pack-saddle and a couple of evenly 
balanced boxes filled with an assortment of 
canned food. Christian books and clothing. Laid 
on top, between the boxes, is a bundle of bed- 
ding, with sundry parcels belonging to the Ko- 


reans of the party. Not far behind, at a comfort- 
able pace, swing along his Korean helper and 
cook. The doctor is just starting out upon a 
country itinerating trip, to be gone for a month 
or six weeks. In going to the country, some of 
the missionaries travel in the popular Korean 
way, on foot; some have a couple of light boxes 
fastened to the pony's pack-saddle, spread some 
blankets above, climb to the top and ride away, 
their feet dangling on either side the pony's neck, 
while the pony boy guides the craft ; but perhaps 
the greater number tise wheels. The roads, I may 
say, are frequently narrow bridle paths. Some of 
us have found it profitable for a doctor and min- 
ister to travel together. Dr. Vinton and myself, 
indeed, have joined forces in a number of itinera- 
ting tours. The ladies sometimes make a similar 
combination; as, for instance, Mrs. Gifford with 
Miss G. E. Whiting, M.D. We try to look upon 
our trips to the country as a kind of excursion, 
and so it would be if the pure air and fine scenery 
had the other things to match them. Bat one 
finds it a little hard to carry out the illusion, for 
instance, when sleeping in a stuffy room with five 
varieties of vermin engaged in your vivisection, 
three or four of the bones in your anatomy pro- 
testing against the hardness of the hot, stony 
floor, and your mind conscious of the fact that the 
country is full of robber bands that have a way 
of visiting the villages when they are least 
expected. This is mentioned here only to show 


that missionary labor, like every other form of 
work ill this world, has, in addition to a great 
many pleasant features, a few things that one 
could wish were otherwise. The doctor, while 
on his country circuit, stops in each village where 
he has work — at the house of one of the Chris- 
tians, for two or three days, not paying board, 
but making his host a "present" of money. The 
days and nights are busily filled, preaching to the 
unconverted, instructing the Christians, examin- 
ing candidates and administering the sacraments. 
As in other lands, we consider that in the country 
villages we have perhaps our most hopeful field 
of effort. 

Let us consider briefly the private life of the 
missionary. Wherever a group of missionaries 
(possibly belonging to different missions) live, 
they unite for the holding of religious services in 
English. Thus in Seoul we have an organization 
called the Union Church, which has a Sunday- 
afternoon preaching service conducted by the 
varioiis ministers, in turn, in the chapel of the 
Pai-chai college of our Methodist brethren, and a 
Thursday-night prayer-meeting held in the differ- 
ent missionary homes. Where there is a foreign 
community of any size we are able to forget our 
mission problems and cares in an occasional 
gratification of our social natures. But the people 
in the far interior, with only one or two foreign 
families in the station, undoubtedly feel the loneli- 
ness of their voluntary exile among alien peoples. 


The missionaries in Korea, as a rule, live with the 
same simplicity as ministers in the country vil- 
lages of America, with the one exception that the 
customs of the country require them to keep, at 
low wages, two or three servants, the whole com- 
pany of whom they w^oulcl gladly exchange for 
one strong, competent Bridget or Gretchen. 
Remember, too, that this frees the missionary's 
wife to do a work among the women of her hus- 
band's church which he cannot do, or enables 
her to help the mission cause in some other direct 
way. In the matter of food, we can buy certain 
meats and some fruits and vegetables on the field, 
but we live for the most part out of tin cans and 
barrels, shipped perhaps twice a year from 
America. Our expensive fuel, burned in the 
stoves we have imported, consists of pine wood, 
a sooty Japanese coal, and bags of Korean hard 
coal, mostly dust, which latter we mix with clay 
and dry into coal-balls. A majority of the mis- 
sionaries tithe their salaries for the benefit of the 
mission work, while some give a much larger 
proportion, especially in the days when our 
brethren in the home-land are derelict in their 
financial duty to the foreign-mission cause. In 
spite of the depressing influence of their constant 
contact with heathenism and their endless care of 
"babes in Christ," a number of the missionaries 
show a marked growth in spirituality. 

A few words may be in order with reference to 
our Korean inquirers and converts. Perhaps due 


to the popular report that the French fathers, with 
whom the people continually confuse us, now and 
then interest themselves in the lawsuits of their 
converts, men seek to attach themselves to us as 
adherents, in the hope that by so doing they 
may secure the aid, in their civil cases before the 
magistrates, of the political influence which we, 
as foreigners, are supposed to possess. But, as 
they find that it is our mission policy not to take 
up such cases, their interest soon disappears. Be 
it noted, however, that occasionally men with 
such ulterior aims, or those whose real motive is 
the desire to get employment, develop into 
genuine inquirers as the Holy Spirit, through the 
Word of God, takes hold upon their hearts. 

You may perhaps be under the impression that 
it is an easy thing for a Korean to becoine a 
Christian. If so, let me disabuse your mind. 
From the moment the man decides for Christ, a 
complete revolution in the tenor of his life begins. 
One of the great days for the worship of ancestors 
arrives, and on conscientious grounds he refuses 
to join in the worship. Immediately he finds him- 
self in trouble, and this is especially true if he 
happens to belong to the Yaugbaii, or aristo- 
cratic class, whose claims to social superiority 
depend so largely upon the universally strict 
adherence to the system of Confucius, who taught, 
as one of the "five relations," the division of all 
the people of the realm into two classes, the 
gentlemen and the "low fellow." To class pride 


is added a rneasiire of superstitious fear. Hence 
our Christian finds himself opposed by the bitter 
anger of the men of his family, and all his near 
and distant relations, not to mention the dislike 
and ridicule of the rest of the community. If 
nearly all the members of the village happen to 
be his relatives, we can imagine his hard lot. 
Where a number of Christians live in the same 
neighborhood, of course the conditions are not so 
severe. One Yangban complained to me that giving 
up ancestral worship made it almost impossible 
for him to marry off his children in his own social 
class. The Christian decides to burn the imple- 
ments of demon-worship. At once he is assailed 
by the tears and the imprecations of the female 
part of his household. Suppose, in the days of 
his heathen ignorance, he had contracted plural 
marriage relations. He now has a very delicate 
and painful duty to perform, in view of the 
church law, framed in America, which requires 
him to put away all his wives and offspring, 
except the first wife and her children. Then, as 
a man who refuses to follow the almost universal 
customs of drinking and gambling, he is con- 
sidered "peculiar." If he is a merchant. Chris- 
tian principle requires that he mend his ways to 
a course of strict honesty in his transactions; and 
that the step is a hard one, can be seen from the 
fact that the delusion is common among Koreans 
that the merchant who will not cheat and defraud 
cannot do business. Then, if the Christian has 


been foUoAving a sinful occtipation, or one of 
doubtful moralit}'', he must give it up. The 
observance of the Sabbath he also finds difficult 
in a country where nearly every one lives from 
hand to mouth, and all the rest of the community, 
except tlie Christians, work or do business on 
Sunday; and again, if he lives in the country, 
where the fifth day market for his region falls 
every now and then upon tlie Sabbath. One of 
his minor difficulties is mental conftision over the 
denominational differences of the various mis- 
sions, which differences, I may say, many of the 
missionaries seek to minimize in their teaching. 
He is troubled, too, with certain things in the 
Scriptures, in a way peculiar to the Eastern mind. 
For instance, in the parable of the unjust steward, 
Luke, i6th chapter, taking a very literal view of 
the shifty procedure of the man, Vvhich is just 
what a Korean would have done under the cir- 
cumstances, he is confused with what to him is 
the moral paradox of the passage. 

You may like to know what changes for the 
better we see in the lives of the Korean Chris- 
tians. In view of the variations in character of 
the church members in the home-land, it is super- 
fluous that I tell you that we have weak Christians 
and strong Christians. The two great temptations 
for our converts are to dishonesty and immorality, 
and occasionally one will fall. But, on the other 
hand, I have known men to move away from 
their native villages rather than resume the 


ancestral worship. Women who have passed from 
the bondage of the fear of demons to the joyous 
freedom they experience in the love of Christ, 
testify that they "feel relieved of such a bur- 
den" ; and thr^t "it is almost as though they were 
living in another world." I know of homes that 
are happier. The Korean brethren are quick to 
notice the more exalted i)lace the wife occupies 
in the missionary home, with the result that their 
own wives get better treatment. 

Drinking and other bad habits are abandoned. 
Men, for the sake of conscience, change their 
occupations. For example, I remember one 
Christian man, whom I met in Pyeng-yang, who 
had formerly made an excellent profit from the 
painting of pictures to be used in heathen wor- 
ship, but having given up the business from a sense 
of duty was at that time finding it difficult to 
live. In Sabbath observance there is much 
improvement. One young merchant, doing busi- 
ness on boiTOwed capital, had to return the money 
to its owner because he refused to keep open on 
Sunday. But in his fidelity he was prospered, for 
he soon secured from another man the money to 
open across the street a still larger shop than 
the one he had lost for conscience sake. In the 
native Christians who study their Bibles — and is 
it not true at home as well? — one can observe an 
ennobling of character that is perceptible even in 
the expression of their faces. One occasionally 
sees revealed in them a simplicity of faith that is 


touching. In one region in the north the Chris- 
tians confidentl)' declare that, when the cholera 
was epidemic, as the result of prayer their fam- 
ilies and in some cases their villages were spared 
when all about them the people were dying. 
According to their means, they are willing givers 
to the Lord. They are warmly patriotic. They 
take on readily an esprit dc corps w^hich makes 
them aggressive workers for the salvation of other 
Koreans. In the church services the)' are quiet 
and reverent. There is something wonderfully 
suggestive in the posture adopted by the Korean 
Christians in prayer. Sitting as they do on the 
floor of the church, when the time for prayer 
arrives they bow their bodies forward till the 
forehead or the hat-brim touches the floor. This 
is a form of Oriental prostration. The Ori- 
ental prostration suggests the thought not only 
of profound reverence, but of complete submis- 
sion to the will of the superior. While in that 
position the superior can work what he will upon 
the humble form before him. My reader, is not 
that the mental attitude you and I ought to take 
before God — completely surrendered, that Jesus 
Christ may cleanse from the heart all its selfish- 
ness and sin, and fill the place thus made empty 
with His own blessed presence and the "more 
abundant life"? 



The following is the story told me by Mr. Mof- 
fett, which serves to illustrate once again the 
power of Christ's salvation to change the lives of 
men, whether their hue be yellow or white : 

"When my helper, Mr. Han, first visited Pyeng- 
yang to begin the preliminary work of opening 
our station there, he took a stock of books and 
stopped at an inn kept by a Mr. Chay, who, 
besides being an inn-keeper, was also a broker, 
selling upon commission whatever goods his 
guests might bring. Mr. Han had known him 
some years, having formerly stopped there when 
traveling as a merchant. Han began preaching 
to all in the inn and selling the tracts. Chay was 
a tall, slender man, "hail fellow well met" with 
everyone, given to loud talking, drinking, gam- 
bling and a vicious life generally, always ready for 
a joke and yet addicted to loud quarreling with 
any and every one. As an inn-keeper and busi- 
ness man he was very shrewd and able, but was 
always wasting his earnings in wine, gambling 
and immorality, and he made his home very 
miserable. He liked Han and listened to the 
strange story he had to tell and wondered greatly 



at his selling such nice-looking books at such a 
low price. The truth, however, took not the 
slightest hold upon him then, but simply because 
Han was his guest, he used his influence to help 
him sell the books, telling everyone that they 
were good books. Later, when we visited Pyeng- 
yang and sought to purchase property, Mr. Chay 
acted as our agent and came into more intimate 
contact with us, as we too made the Gospel our 
daily subject of conversation. Mr. Saw, our 
evangelist, who accompanied us, made a great 
impression upon Mr. Chay, as he had never seen 
a Korean who had the gentle spirit and the truth- 
fulness which Mr. Saw displayed. Mr. Chay 
attended the services we conducted on the Sab- 
bath, not, as he has since said, that he cared at 
all for the truth, but simply because, as our agent, 
he wished to retain our goodwill. Contact with 
the truth and with those who showed such earnest 
zeal in proclaiming this truth, in spite of all the 
ridicule and opposition heaped upon them, caused 
him to begin to think, and then to listen, and then 
to read, and, much to his surprise, he found him- 
self really interested and concerned. The Spirit 
of God took hold upon him and he became a daily 
student of the Word of God, being one of the most 
constant attendants upon the Sabbath services 
and the catechumen class. He met with the 
most abusive ridicule and insult, and he had the 
finger of scorn constantly pointed at him as he 
walked the street between his inn and the chapel. 


Always an outspoken man, he met all this abuse 
most bravely, and frankly confessed that he was 
'doing- the Jesus doctrine.' Old friends and com- 
rades in evil conspired to make him again fall into 
sin, visiting him and doing all they could to lead 
him to gamble and drink. 

"His wife was thoroughly enraged when he 
refused to sacrifice to the evil spirits of the house- 
hold, and she begged him to ward off the great 
evils she feared because of his failure to placate 
those evil spirits. He had, through his faith in 
Christ, become indeed a 'new creature.' He 
had given up his adultery, drunkenness and gam- 
bling, his fighting in the home and on the street, 
and he had caused his home-coming, from day to 
day, to become a pleasure to his wife and chil- 
dren, instead of a cause for fear. While his wife 
rejoiced in all this, such was her fear of the evil 
spirits that she was distressed and angry when he 
not only refused to take part in the sacrifice, but 
urged the throwing away of all the baskets and 
bundles of straw which represented the abodes 
of these evil spirits. 

"He put to her this pointed question: 'Which 
will you have me do: be a Christian and be as I 
am, sober, loving and true to you, or worship 
evil spirits, and get drunk, lead a vile life, gamble 
and make my home-coming a terror to you and 
the children?' Then the would plead with him 
not to go back to his old habits, but yet to join in 
the sacrifices. The poor woman did not know her 


own mind. One day she would bless Mr. Han 
and me, and call us her best friends, because of 
the great reform in her husband; the next day 
she would break ovit into the most bitter cursing, 
declaring that we had no business to come there 
and prevent her husband from offering sacrifice 
to the evil spirits and to his ancestors. Mr. 
Chay's brothers, too, did not know just what posi- 
tion to take; they cursed him for leaving off the 
ancestral worship, but rejoiced in his reformation. 
For months he was subject to all kinds of temp- 
tations. At times he fell. But as he grew in 
knowledge of Christ, his faith became stronger, 
and it was touching to hear him tell of his going 
into the inner quarters of his house and kneeling 
in prayer for strength to resist the temptations 
which came upon him so often through the day. 
A touching incident may here be mentioned 
which will reveal also the difficulties with which 
the Korean Christians have to contend and like- 
wise the gradual process by which they come to 
realize the sinfulness of sin, while at the same 
time it will show how their habits are so fastened 
upon them that they do not realize the possibility 
of leading an entirely holy life : 

"One day he came rushing into my room, not far 
from his inn, saying that he had just run away 
from a crowd of his former friends who were try- 
ing to make him drink. First he told them he 
was not well ; but they would not listen to that. 
Then he said it would make him sick to drink, as 


his stomach was paining him ; but this they 
regarded as no excuse. Then he said he was now 
a Christian and could not drink. But with that 
they seized him by the hair and, ridiciiling him 
and abusing him for adopting the foreign reli- 
gion, attempted to make him drink with them as of 
old. He at last agreed, but said he had an engage- 
ment just then and would be back in a few min- 
utes to drink with them. Rushing out, he came 
into my room, telling me of the occurrence and 
the way in which he had gotten away from them 
and avoided drinking. I rejoiced with him in his 
determination not to yield, but called his atten- 
tion to the fact that he had lied to them and that 
he must not commit one sin in order to avoid 
another. He looked very queer and quickly ex- 
claimed: 'Oh! I have got to lie.' Then I 
showed him the sinfulness of lying and, again, look- 
ing very queer as the realization of the sin came 
over him, in connection with his own conviction 
that he could never get away from his old evil hab- 
its without lying, he exclaimed: 'Well, it is wrong 
to lie; and I will quit after New Years. But I 
must lie until then. ' Mr. Chay was one of the 
first seven men received into the church in P3'eng- 
yang and has since then become constantly more 
interested and has lived an increasingly consist- 
ent life, contributing liberally and working most 
zealously to make known to others the truth wliich 
has done so much for him. He places Christian 
books in his inn and urges all guests to read and 


buy, and wherever he goes in the city or surround- 
ing country, he constantly invites friends and 
acquaintances to listen to the Gospel. His influ- 
ence in his own family constantly grew, although 
they, at the time of the persecution, when he was 
arrested, bound with the red cord used for tying 
criminals and threatened with death, as well as 
afterward, when an official, who was a friend of 
the family, called him privately and warned 
him to give up Christianity upon fear of death, 
again greatly urged him to give up his belief or 
flee. When the threats of persecution were 
renewed, he and another of the Christians fled to 
the country and, after wandering around for one 
whole night in the rain, in constant dread lest at 
any point on the road they might meet an officer 
seeking their arrest, they talked the matter over 
and Mr. Chay said: 'Here! If God intends that 
we shall die, we cannot escape by fleeing. We 
might as well go back and take whatever comes, 
leaving it all to Him. ' The next day they 
returned, came in to see me and said to the little 
band of Christians, who knew of their flight, that 
they were ready to give a reason for the faith 
that was in them and to take the consequences. 
The war came on and Mr. Chay took all his family 
and that of his brother to a mountain village, 
where he made known the truth very clearly, and 
where his own faith and peaceful life in the midst 
of trouble and threatening gloom brought his 
older brother and his wife to a savins: faith 


in Christ. His wife, having lost all her desire to 
worship the evil spirits and continne the ances- 
tral sacrifices, formed one of the first groups of 
women to be received into the church after Mrs. 
Lee joined the station. In the mountain village 
where they took refuge there are now fifteen or 
more Christians meeting every Sunday, although 
Mr. Chay and his family have long since returned 
to the city. 

"Mr. Chay is one of the best-known Christians 
in Pyeng-yang, and his marked reformation has 
done much to commend the Gospel to the people 
of that vicinity." 



The scope of this chapter will deal with a vari- 
ety of educational institutions that flourish within 
the sweep of the mediaeval walls of Seoul, which 
fall like widely draped festoons from the peaks of 
the North and South mountains. Imagine your- 
self, please, in a factory where a planing-machine 
and three or four circular saws are tearing the air 
into shreds with their din. You can then form 
some conception of the noise of a native Korean 
schoolroom when the pupils are conning their les- 
sons. Let us take a look into such a school. Perhaps 
a dozen bright-faced lads are sitting cross-legged 
upon the floor, their Chinese books laid before 
them. The upper parts of their bodies are sway- 
ing violently, each with his own time and motion, 
some from side to side, others forward and back, 
and all of them vociferating, in every pitch of 
voice, the lesson assigned for the day. In con- 
trast with all this movement and din is the quiet 
form of the school-master, sitting at the end of 
the room where the flue-heated floor is the warm- 
est, on his head a crown-shaped, horse-hair hat, 
his nose surmounted by a pair of scholarly gog- 
gles, with a book before him, and in his hand a 



rod; and now and again his stentorian tones 
mingle with the shrill trebles as he hurls in a 
word or two of correction. This is the ordinary 
Korean school. 

From early dawn till the sun goes down these 
lads drone away, now studying aloud, now writing 
the characters, now reciting to the master the 
contents of the Chinese classics, filled with the 
lore of the ancient sages and a pseudo-history, 
but with scarcely an idea to lead them to under- 
stand the world in which they live in the present 
year of Our Lord. 

Anyone who knows the Korean people, even in 
the most superficial manner, must be aware that 
there is something radically lacking in the time- 
honored system of education of the country. 

I would by no means condemn it as an utter 
failure. Let no one beguile himself into thinking 
that the educated Koreans are a dull class of peo- 
ple. The study of the Chinese classics has much 
the same educational value for the Korean that a 
classical course in Latin and Gi'eek has for a 
student in the Occident. The effort to master the 
difficult language is in itself a mental discipline. 
The writings of Confucius and Mencius, as a sys- 
tem of mere ethics, together with much that is 
defective and a disproportioned stress laid upon 
the virtue of filial piety, contain also much that 
is undoubtedly beautiful and true. Then again, to 
such an extent have the Chinese words and 
phrases imbedded themselves in the native 


speech, that no Korean can obtain a mastery of 
his own language without a preliminary study of 
the Chinese. But, when all has been said, the 
popular education of Korea leaves very much to 
be desired. The best way to judge of a system is 
to examine the finished product of that system. 
Let us consider, then, the average educated Ko- 
rean. He has a certain mental brightness and 
polish. His memory is noticeably well trained. He 
seems, indeed, to be much like a mill fairly well 
fitted to grind, but with no worthy content upon 
which to grind. He has, in a measure, the intel- 
lectual power of a man, with the actual knowledge 
of a child. And the discouraging feature of his 
case is that he has, in many instances, become so 
self-conceited that Socrates himself could not con- 
vince him of his ignorance. He is color-blind to 
everything modern. His eyes are set on the past, 
especially the Chinese past. He is a slave to the 
traditions and customs transmitted from antiquity. 
His thinking has no breadth nor originality. But 
the fault is moral as well. Among people of his 
own station in life he displays a ceremonious 
politeness that is certainly charming But do 
not for a moment be deceived. There is very 
little heart in it. What Korean unreservedly 
trusts another Korean? And for the man below 
him in social rank he has all the contempt of a 
Brahmin. Again, he has a false pride which leads 
him to starve rather than do a stroke of honest 
manual labor. The ruling principle of his life is 


apt to be a selfish individualism, which leaves in 
his heart but little room for a disinterested public 
spirit, or a true love of his neighbor. Two things 
the naturally bright and in many respects inter- 
esting people of Korea especially need, and which 
the present system of education certainly fails to 
give them, are a broader intellectual view and a 
deepened moral sense. Their present system of 
intellectual and moral training then, needs evi- 
dently much to supplement it. The Chino-Jap- 
anese war, in a number of respects, deep-soil 
plowed the life and institutions of Korea. One of 
the institutions which early disappeared was the 
Koaga, or royal examination, held periodically 
through the spring and fall, when the streets used 
to be filled with country scholars, all aspirants for 
literary degrees. These literary titles were, in the 
ante-bellum days, greatly prized, largely no doubt 
because the rank thus obtained was believed to 
furnish a stepping-stone toward the acquisition of 
government office, the siivivuim bomnn of the Ko- 
rean scholar. But with the passing of the Koaga 
and a change in the methods of government 
appointments, it may be questioned whether much 
of the incentive to the acquisition of an education 
of the time-honored variety has not also passed 
away. It may be further queried, if this be true — 
that the interest in education is waning through- 
out the country — What other educational forces are 
there at work, whose influence can be counted 
upon to stimulate in some measure this flagging 


interest in all education; and can they be said to 
give promise of supplying the lacking elements 
mentioned above, a broadened m.ental outlook or 
a deepened moral sense? The answer is that 
there are three classes of schools whose influence 
radiates from the capital — government vernacular 
schools, government schools for the study of for- 
eign languages, and missionary institutions of 
learning, all of which aim to impart nineteenth 
century knowledge and, in varying degrees, seek 
the moral culture of their students. Let it be 
understood that in this chapter we are viewing 
conditions that existed in the late spring of 1896, 
at which time the author, pencil and note-book 
in hand, made a tour of the schools and collected 
the data here presented. Referring now to the 
first class of government schools mentioned, the 
writer's information was largely deriv^ed from Mr. 
T. H. Yun, the then Acting Minister of Education, 
who later became a member of the embassy sent 
to represent Korea at the coronation of the "Czar 
of all the Russias. " It may be remarked in pass- 
ing that his experience and Christian education in 
a foreign land seemed to have peculiarly fitted 
Mr. Yun for usefulness in the position he then 
held. These schools came largely into being 
during the so-called "reform era. " The scheme 
of education embraces a system of primary schools, 
with a normal school for the training of the teach- 
ers. The normal school, located in Kyo-tong, 
was organized in 1895 with a Japanese instructor 


in charge. Two Korean teachers at the time of 
my visit were guiding their studies.* 

The subjects taught consisted of history (Ko- 
rean and universal), simple arithmetic, geography, 
Chinese and Unmun composition, and the Chi- 
nese classics. Candidates for admission to the nor- 
mal school must be able to read and write Chinese 
and the age limits range between eighteen and 
twenty-five years. The aim was to accommodate 
fifty pupils, fed and lodged at government 
expense. It was expected that, after order was 
restored in the country, with teachers drawn from 
this normal school, primary schools would be 
started in each of the provincial capitals of the 
country. Already there existed in the city of 
Seoul five flourishing primary schools. With the 
exception of one which numbers about 150, the 
average number of scholars enrolled in each of 
the schools is 100. The monthly wages paid are 
as follows : for a normal school-teacher, forty yen ; 
for a primary school-teacher, fourteen yen. 

Referring now to the second variety of schools 
for the study respectively of Japanese, French, 
Russian and English, the Japanese school, located 
in Kyo-tong, has been in existence since 1890. 
It is in charge of the genial Mr. I. Nagashima, a 
graduate of Tokyo University and a teacher of 
five years' experience in Japan. Associated with 

*May I, 1S97, there was a change in management 
and the Rev. H. B. Hulbert, who will be mentioned later, 
became the principal of the normal school. 


liim is Mr. M. Oya, a graduate of the Kanagawa 
Normal School, and they have one Korean assist- 
ant. The students are divided into two classes, 
and number forty. The average age is nineteen, 
ranging from sixteen to thirty years. The studies 
embrace the learning of Japanese, the study of 
Western branches through the medium of the 
Japanese, and physical drill. The writer heard 
one day the adv^anced class read in concert, in 
alternation with the teacher, and to judge by the 
sound the reading was remarkably fluent and 

The French and Russian schools are located in 
the spacious school property at Pak Tong, south- 
east of the palace. These schools are among our 
most recent acquisitions, the Russian school 
having been opened May loth and the French 
school about the first of January, 1896. In charge 
of the Russian school is Mr. N. Birukoff, late 
captain of light artillery in the Russian army; 
and the teacher of the French school is Mr. E. 
Martel. Both have had experience in private 
teaching. They have each a Korean assistant. 
The students in attendance at the Russian school 
are thirty-six; in the French school thirty-four; 
the average age in the Russian school is twenty- 
two, ranging from sixteen to forty; in the French 
school seventeen, ranging from fifteen to thirty 
years. The study in these schools is yet largely 
linguistic, but western branches will be rapidly 
introduced in the respective languages taught. 


Daily physical drill is given the pupils of both 
schools under the superintendence of members of 
the Russian legation guard. These schools, al- 
though so recently established, are in a flourishing 
condition, and with a bright class of pupils, and 
excellent instructors, a highly successful career 
may be anticipated for them. 

English education in Seoul had its origin in Mr. 
T. E. Hallifax's School for Interpreters, which, 
from the year 18S3, was held for a period of three 
years in the Foreign Office. The pupils numbered 
thirty-five and their ages ranged from fifteen to 
thirty. Very good work was done, as is evi- 
denced by the fact that fifteen former members 
of the school now hold positions in the various 
ports. In the spring of 1885 General John Eaton, 
the well-known commissioner of education, in 
compliance with a request to the U. S. govern- 
ment from his majesty, received instructions from 
the government to secure three suitable men, who 
should repair to Korea to take charge of a govern- 
ment school for the teaching of English, His 
choice fell upon three students in Union Theolog- 
ical Seminary, New York City, two of whom were 
about to graduate, Rev. G. W. Gilmore of Prince- 
ton, '83, Rev. D. A. Bunker, Oberlin, 'S;^, and 
Rev. H. B. Hulbert, Dartmouth, '84. The gov- 
ernment school was organized September 23, 
1886. Each teacher had a Korean interpreter. 
As soon as practicable Western studies were intro- 
duced, which were taught through the medium of 


English text-books. In addition to the ordinary 
elementary studies, the elements of international 
law and political economy were taught. The 
pupils enrolled were about one hundred. Two 
examinations of the school were held before his 
majesty, at one of which the writer had the honor 
of being present. 

As the result of the work of the school a num- 
ber of good men were turned out, one of whom is 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, another is Secre- 
tary of Legation at Tokyo, and a third is assistant 
Postmaster in the Korean postoffice at Chem- 
ulpo. Capable, earnest work was done by the 
instructors; but in some respects the school did 
not prosper as it deserved, for his majesty's good 
intentions were frustrated, after the fashion of 
those ante-bellum days, by the peculating officials 
connected with the school, who diverted to the 
extent of their ability the funds of the institution 
to their private use, so that, becoming dis- 
heartened, first Mr. Gilmore, then Mr. Hulbert, 
and finally Mr. Bunker resigned and returned to 
America, the last two metioned, however, coming 
back later as members of the Methodist Mission. 
We come now to another stage in the history of 
the Royal English School. Mr. W. du F. Hutchi- 
son was engaged from the fall of 1893 in teaching 
English upon the island of Kang-wha, in con- 
nection with the school for naval cadets. In the 
late fall of 1894 he was transferred to Seoul to 
fill the vacancy made by the departure of Mr. 


Bunker, in the English school at Pak Dong. He 
brought with him a score of his former pupils; 
four old scholars of the Pak Dong school were 
added, and the government sent still others, 
aggregating sixty-four students. The Royal 
School continued at Pak Dong till the first of 1895, 
when the school property was turned temporarily 
into police barracks, and the school was trans- 
ferred to its present quarters in the telegraph 
office in front of the palace, just west of the 
offices of the Department of Agriculture. Highly 
creditable work has been done by the school, as 
was evidenced by the excellent written exami- 
nation papers prepared in June of 1896. The teach- 
ing force consists of Mr. Hutchison, Mr. T. E. 
Hallifax and three Korean assistants. These 
three assistant teachers receive each a monthly 
payment of from twenty to twenty-five yen. The 
number of pupils is one hundred and three, with 
a daily average of ninety-two. It may be remarked 
in passing that an indication of the discipline of the 
school was seen when the writer, on a very rainy 
day, visited the school and found the entire body of 
pupils in attendance. Their average age is nine- 
teen years, ranging in fact from sixteen to twenty- 
eight years. The branches taught consist of a study 
of colloquial English, reading English, English 
composition, arithmetic, grammar, writing, trans- 
lation to and from English and Chinese, also the 
same with Unmun and English, and lessons in 
general knowledge in the form of practical talks. 


Physical training is imparted by a sergeant from 
the English legation guard, in the form of march- 
ing, calisthenics, and a drill with staves, known 
technically as the "Swedish physical drill. " By 
the time my visit to the Royal School was made, 
Mr. Ymi had been succeeded as Minister of Edu- 
cation by a Mr. Sin, a deeply dyed conservative, 
who was destined, however, not to remain long in 
office, and a very decided clash between the 
minister and the school was in progress over the 
wearing by the pupils of a neat foreign uniform, 
consisting of a jacket, trousers and a cap of white 
duck cloth with red trimmings. Suffice it to say 
that the scholars won the day. The aim of the 
school is to turn out men with a good general 
knowledge, in addition to proficiency in the use 
of English. 

Still another class of schools is deserving of our 
attention — institutions under missionary auspices. 
The first to claim our attention is a school which, 
strictly speaking, does not belong in this class, but 
on account of other features connected with the 
plan of which it is a part, it may properly be 
mentioned here. The latest arrival in the edu- 
cational field of Korea is the school established 
April i6, 1896, by representatives of the "Jap- 
anese Foreign Educational Society." The con- 
tributors to this society are Japanese Christians and 
non church-members, the majorit}^ of which body, 
however, are members of evangelical churches. 
The location of the school is on the western edge 


of Chin-go-kai, immediately behind the site of 
the new Japanese consulate. The teachers are 
Messrs. K. Koshima and M. Zing'u, both of whom 
are graduates of the Doshisha College at Kyoto, 
and have been for two years students in the 
theological seminary of the same institution. They 
have for their assistants two Koreans who speak 
Japanese. The students in attendance are fifty- 
eight, who are divided into three classes. The 
average age is twenty-three, ranging from ten to 
thirty-eight years. The curriculum includes a 
limited study of the Chinese classics, also Unmim 
composition, the learning of Japanese, and the 
study of Western learning through the medium of 
the Japanese; and further, a weekly lecture is 
delivered, through an interpreter, on scientific 
and religious subjects. No direct religious teach- 
ing forms a part of the course of study on account 
of the mixed nature of the society founding the 
school. But the teachers are Christians, with a 
missionary purpose; and the plan and hope is 
that, later, men will be sent to work with them 
who shall give their entire time to religious work 
and the establishment of churches. That such 
an enterprise should be undertaken at all is a strik- 
ing indication of the fact that Christianity has 
become native to the soil of Japan. 

The representatives of the "Societe des Mis- 
sions Etrangeres, " of Paris, have in the city of 
Seoul and its immediate vicinity three varieties of 
schools, an orphanage, two boys' schools and a 


theological seminary. The orphanage was organ- 
ized by the French fathers in 1883 in Myeng- 
tong, with ten Korean assistants In 1888 the 
oversight of the school was transferred to the 
Sisters of the Community of St. Paul of Chartres. 
In 1890 the orphanage was moved by the Sisters 
to their present commodious quarters, north of 
Chin-go-kai, the Japanese settlement. The 
expenses of the institution are chiefly defrayed 
by the Society of Ste. Enfance, of Paris. The 
children received are almost entirely orphans 
whose parents have had no connection with the 
Catholic Church. Connected with the school are 
five French sisters, one Chinese sister, also Ko- 
rean novices ten, postulaiites ten, and aspirants 
nine. In the school are sixty boys, with ages 
ranging from five to thirteen years, eighty-nine 
girls of the same ages, thirty-nine small children 
from two to five years old and fifty-four infants, 
making a total of 242 children. The older girls 
study Unmun, learn the church catechism and 
various forms of prayer, and are instructed in 
sewing and general housework. The larger boys 
study Unmun, read stories selected from the Bible, 
and learn the catechism and various forms of 
prayer. Formerly these boys were taught to 
make mats, pouch-strings and cigarettes, but 
three years ago the plan was abandoned as unprofit- 
able. The younger children are taught verbally 
forms of prayer. When the girls arrive at an age 
of from thirteen to fifteen years they are married 


to the children of adherents. Boys thirteen years 
old are adopted by members of the church in the 
city and country, and learn farming or one of the 
trades; or, assuming their own support, become 
servants or enter some trade. The object of the 
school is to train into good Catholics these unfor- 
tunate children, bereaved of a parent's protection. 
Referring now to the two boys' schools men- 
tioned above, one of them, opened in 1883, is 
located on the northern edge of Chin-go-kai ; the 
other, opened in 1893, is connected with the 
French fathers' place at Yalc-hyon, outside the 
south gate of the city. Each consists of twenty- 
five boys, under a Korean teacher. Their average 
age is ten, ranging from five to fifteen years. In 
these schools the boys are taught to read and write 
Chinese and Unmun, with a limited study of the 
Chinese classics. In the Unmun they are taught 
the catechism and forms of prayer. The scholars 
are all catechumens or church members. The 
aim of the schools is to provide a native and reli- 
gious primary education for the children of the 
members of the chiu-ch. The theological semi- 
nary, now located three miles from the city, on the 
h\uE by the river, at Yong-san, w^as organized in 
1854 or '55 in the village of Chyei-tchou in the 
Kan g- won province, under the title of "Pai-ron 
Hak-tang. " In 1866, the year of the great mas- 
sacre of the French fathers and their disciples, the 
school was broken up. In the dark years that 
followed, the efforts put forth by aspirants to the 


priesthood to secure a priestly education are inter- 
esting-. In 1871 one sucli student, crossing- over 
from Korea, sought the theological school at Cha- 
ling in Lao-tang, Manchui-ia, where eight years 
later he died. Three other youths, who, for three 
years, had been studying with priests in conceal- 
ment in Korea, were in 1880 sent across the border 
to this school in Cha-ling. In 1882 they were 
removed to Nagasaki, Japan, where their num- 
bers were gradually increased by the arrival of 
other students, who came from Korea in groups 
of twos and threes. In 18S3 this band of students 
was sent to Penang in the Straits Settlements, 
where they remained imtil 1S91 or '92, when, 
on account of sickness, they returned to Yong- 
san, their number being then twenty-four. In 
the meantime in Pu-ung-kol, a small Catholic vil- 
lage near Won-ju, in Kang--won-to, a Latin school 
had been opened in 1885. This was removed to 
Yong-san in 1888, where the large brick seminary 
building was erected which opened its doors in 
1 89 1. There are at present in charge of the theo- 
logical seminary. Fathers Rault and Bret; and 
under them aie one Korean sub-deacon and a 
Korean teacher of Chinese. The present number 
of students is twenty-three. Their average age 
is nineteen, ranging from fourteen to thirty-two 
years. The studies of the seminary are grouped in 
three consecutive courses, these courses being in 
Latin, philosophy and theology; but the students 
are divided into four classes. New students are 


admitted to the school every four years, who enter 
upon the studies of the Latin course. Tliese new 
students are presently divided into two divisions, 
the brighter students forming an advanced class 
with a four-years' course, while the others pursue 
a course of seven years in the same studies. 
Graduates from the Latin course take a course of 
one year in philosophy. Then they study theology 
for three years or until they can pass the required 
examinations that are held semi-annuall)". In the 
Latin course, in addition to the study of Latin, 
there are taught arithmetic, geography, history, 
natural philosophy and music. In the philosophi- 
cal course there is the study of metaphysics, logic, 
ethics and theodicy. The studies in the theological 
course consist of dogmatics, moral theology, study 
of the Bible, and training in the ritual of the 
church. Throughout the entire seminary course 
the Chinese classics are studied daily. The object 
of the school is to train suitable young men to 
enter the orders of the priesthood. 

The girls' school of the Presbyterian Mission 
(north) came into being with a group of little girls 
Mrs. Bunker gathered about her in 1S88. Mrs. 
Gifford, at that time Miss M. E. Hayden, arrived 
in the late fall of the same year, and at once took 
them under her care. She was succeeded in 1890 
by Miss S. A. Doty, who, with the exception of 
one year, has remained the superintendent of the 
school ever since. She was joined in 1892 by 
Misses E. Strong and V, C. Arbuckle, who, two 


years later, left the school ; the former on account 
of ill-health, and the latter in order to take up 
the work of nursing in the government hospital. 
The location of the girls' school was formerly in 
the foreign settlement, but the fall of 1895 saw 
them domiciled in their new home at Yon-mot -kol 
("Lotos pond district"), two miles away from the 
former site, on the eastern side of the city. 
With a plant of buildings far better suited to the 
needs of the institution, the outlook for the school 
is bright. A girls' school in Korea is something- 
more than a school. It is an evangelistic center 
which attracts to it Korean women from the region 
round about. So, connected with the school, is a 
chapel where women are daily met for religious 
teaching and a dispensary, visited periodically by 
Dr. Whiting. Among the girls themselves 
a Christian Endeavor Society exists. The 
number of pupils consists of twenty-eight board- 
ers and one day scholar. The average age of the 
girls is twelve, ranging from eight to seventeen. 
As for the teaching force. Miss Doty is in charge, 
with Miss K. C. Wambold, newly arrived, pre- 
paring herself to join in the work. The assistants 
are two Korean women. Then twice a week Miss 
Strong drills them in kindergarten work. Also 
twice a week Mrs. Gifford has the older girls in 
Old Testament historical studies. Now a word or 
two on the studies taught. At first the little girls 
were set to singing the Chinese characters ; but 
this was presently given up and now all the 


instruction is conveyed through the medium of 
the Unmun. In addition to the studies mentioned 
above, the girls are taught the reading and writ- 
ing of Unmun, arithmetic, geography and study 
of various Gospels and religious books printed in 
the Unmun. Perhaps the most interesting fea- 
ture is that the little girls are given a systematic 
and thorough training in all the work pertaining 
to a Korean household. The writer has seen 
specimens of their needle-work, more especially in 
the line of Korean embroidery, which were excel- 
lently done. The aims of the school are to first lead 
them to become Christians — not only so, but active 
Christians, well grounded in the faith, and with a 
good mental training, that they may be made self- 
reliant, ready to cope with the situation in which 
they find themselves placed, whatever it may be. 
Passing now to schools for youth connected 
with the Presbyterian Mission, the first to 
be established was the medical school opened by 
Dr. Allen in the fall of 1885, with a proper amount 
of appliances, including a skeleton that has been 
frightening people ever since its arrival in the 
country. The school was located at the govern- 
ment hospital. The medical instruction was 
imparted through the medium of the English; 
and assisting in the school were Doctors Heron and 
Underwood. On the departure of Dr. Allen to 
America, in 1887, the nature of the institution was 
changed to that of a school for the teaching of Eng- 
lish, and so continued for the space of two years. 


The present "Yasu Kyo Hak-tang" ("Jesus 
Doctrine School"), located in Chong-tong, the 
foreign settlement, was instituted by Dr. Under- 
wood in the spring of 1886, in the form of an 
orphanage, modeled on the plan of those well- 
known institutions in England. The instruction 
was in English, Chinese and Unmun. In 1890, 
when Dr. Underwood returned temporarily to 
America, the plan of the institution was materially 
changed under the superintendence of Mr. Mof- 
f ett. You may or you may not be aware that there 
are two excellent sides to the question of the 
advisability of teaching English in mission schools. 
Without going into the merits of the question, 
suffice it to say that from that time all the teach- 
ing in the school has been through the medium of 
the Chinese and Unmun. The nature of the 
school also was changed from an orphanage to a 
day and boarding school for boys. In 1893 the 
charge of the school passed into the hands of the 
present superintendent. Rev. F. S. Miller. The 
number of the pupils is fifty-five, with a daily 
average of forty. Eight are fed and clothed by 
the school, but partially support themselves by 
manual labor. The average age is thirteen, rang- 
ing from nine to seventeen years. The regular 
teaching force consists of Mr. Miller, with one 
Korean teacher and two assistants. On various 
days in the week supplementary teaching is sup- 
plied by Mrs. Miller, Mr, Bell and Dr. Vinton. 
Let us glance at the course of study. There are 


the reading and writing of the Chinese and 
Unmun. There is a limited study of the Chinese 
classics, followed by a study of the Bible and 
Christian books in the Chinese. In Unmun a 
number of Christian books are studied, physical 
and political geography, arithmetic, physiology, 
history of the Christian Church, and training in 
singing. Drill in marching is given by a mem- 
ber of the U. S. legation guard. Some of the 
lads who are fed and clothed contribute to their 
support by sawing lumber; others assist in the 
government hospital and the dispensaries; still 
others do janitor work. It is worthy of mention 
that the lads at the hospital are being given a 
medical training by Dr. Avison. The aim of the 
school is to furnish a strongly Christian general 
education. Some of the boys are very aggressive 
little Christian workers, selling Christian books to 
men on the streets and telling them about Jesus. 
I noticed one day a group of men standing beside 
the street listening quietly and with evident 
respect. The center of the group was a school 
boy with a roll of books under his arm. telling 
them in his imperfect way what it was to become 
a Christian. The plan is to make the school in 
Seoul supplement Christian primary schools in 
the country and out-stations, developing it into 
a normal and high school,* to which the gradu- 

* At the annual meeting of 1S97, it was decided to tem- 
poraril}' close the Presbyterian boys' school and release Mr. 
Miller to do evangelistic work in the Whang-hai province, 
where the pressure is so great. 


ates of the primary schools may be sent; it should 
also be inentioned that at the house of Rev. S. 
F. Moore, of the Presbyterian Mission, is a pri- 
mary Christian school where some twenty boys are 
under instruction. 

The Presb3'terian Mission has also in mid-Avinter 
a month's or six weeks' training class for reli- 
gious workers, chiefly from the country. 

Let us now turn to the M. E. school known by 
the poetical name given it by his majesty — the 
"Ewa Hak-tang" or "Pear-flower School." This 
school for girls was organized in June, i8S6, by 
Mrs. M. F. Scranton, and was moved into its 
commodious quarters on the hill in the foreign 
settlement in November of the same year. Mrs. 
Scranton tells of the prejudice she had to over- 
come in those early days; for people were afraid 
to put their children into the school, because they 
thought they would never see them again. When 
Mrs. Scranton took her furlough, in 1891, the 
school passed under the care of Miss L. C. Roth- 
weiler, who had been with her since 18S7. Later 
arrivals at the school were Mrs. G. H. Jones (nee 
Miss Bengel) in 1891, Misses J. O. Paine and L. 
E. Frey, and Mrs. Dr. Follwell (formerly Miss 
M. W. Harris), in 1893. The teaching force con- 
sists of Miss Paine, who has been in charge since 
1893, and associated with her. Miss Frey. The 
Korean assistants are one woman and three pupil 
teachers. Certain days in the week also Mrs. 
Bunker teaches them fine sewing and embroidery, 


and Mrs. Hiilbert trains them in vocal music. 
The pupils number forty-seven boarders and three 
day-scholars. The average age is twelve years, 
with ages ranging between eight and seventeen 
years. English and Unmun are the media through 
which knowledge is imparted. Elementary West- 
ern branches are taught in English ; certain West- 
ern studies and religious literature are studied in 
Unmun. English is optional and is taught to per- 
haps one third of the girls. The domestic econ- 
omy of the school is interesting. In addition 
to the training in sewing and embroidery, 
native, and foreign, mentioned above, the clothes 
of all are made and cared for by the older 
girls. Then the school is divided into eight 
groups according to their rooms, each under a 
leader and sub-leader, who turn-about , two weeks 
at a time, clean rooms and schoolrooms and 
assist in the culinary department. The leader in 
each case is made responsible for all that goes on 
in the room. The capacity of the school building 
was already too small. In the fall it was planned 
to open a Chinese department; and instrumental 
music would be taught in the future to a few. 
The aim of the school is to give a thorough Chris- 
tian education and to make them better Korean 

Let us turn now to another institution of the 
Methodist Mission, the "Pai Chai College," so 
named by his majesty in 1887, the meaning of 
the title being "Hall for the rearing of useful 


men." With the exception of one year, Rev. Mr. 
Appenzeller has been in charge from the time of 
its institution in 1886. There have been on the 
teaching force at various times in the past Revs. 
G. H. Jones, F. Ohlinger, and W. A. Noble. A 
fine brick building was erected in 1887, in the for- 
eign settlement, at a cost of $4,000. In March, 
1895, the Educational Department of the Korean 
Government expressed the desire to place a num- 
ber of pupils in the institution; and an agreement 
was entered into whereby pupils up to a limit of 
200 could be sent to the school by the govern- 
ment. It was stipulated that not only their 
tuition, but also the salaries of certain tutors, in 
the ratio of one tutor to every fifty pupils sent, 
should be paid from the national treasury. The 
present teaching force consists of Mr. Appenzeller 
as principal; in charge of academic department 
Mr. Bunker; and of Korean assistants three tutors 
in English, and three in Chinese. Dr. Philip 
Jaisohn also delivers lectures to the school once a 
week. The institution is divided as follows: into 
a Chinese, an English, and a theological depart- 
ment. As to the number of students, there are 
106 in the English and 60 in the Chinese depart- 
ment. In the theological department, under the 
charge of Mr. Appenzeller, there were six students 
in attendance at the last session. The average 
age of the pupils in the Chinese department is 
twelve years; in the English department, eighteen 
years. The studies taught in the English depart- 


ment are reading, grammar, compocition, spelling, 
history, arithmetic, and the elements of chemis- 
try and natural philosophy. In the Chinese depart- 
ment there are taught the Chinese classics ad 
infinituin^ Sheffield's Universal History, also in the 
Unmun certain religious works. The attendance 
at chapel is compulsory. An Epworth League 
exists in the school. The pupils are drilled 
by a member of the American legation guard and 
have come out in a neat school uniform of white 
duck cloth, trimmed with red and blue stripes. 
The aim to establish an industrial department has 
been kept in mind from the outset. Some time 
since the attempt was made to open a depart- 
ment for the manufacture of brush pens and straw 
sandals. The superintendent once explained to 
the Avriter the result of the experiment. He said 
that he had remarked that men who bought the 
pens his scholars made never came back for any 
more. With Oriental politeness they explained to 
him that the pens were excellent, only they would 
not write. He thought it must have been some- 
thing the same way with the shoes. At all events 
it v/as not long before his shoe and pen factory 
went into bankruptcy. However, later efforts 
were more successful. It is said that the idea of 
founding the "Tri-lingual Press" by the M.E. Mis- 
sion, originated largely from the desire to devise 
employment for students who were being gratui- 
tously fed. Iiupecunious students now earn their 
living in a variety of ways. Students are em- 


ployed as personal teachers, to do seribal work and 
to care for the rooms. The "Korean Repository" 
is printed, with one exception, entirely by boys 
from the s-hool. Foreign binding has been done 
by students; and as for Korean binding, in the 
bindery in the basement of the school, established 
the previous fall, twenty boys find employment. 
As evidence of their efficiency it may be 
stated that from December to June, 1S96, over 
50,000 volumes have been bound by them. The 
aim of the institution is education per se — a 
liberal education. 

Two Christian primary schools for boys are 
also conducted by the M. E. Mission, one at San- 
tong and one immediately inside the East Gate. 

A writer in the "Korean Repository" has 
expressed the opinion that of all the things Korea 
greatly needs at the present moment, a true edu- 
cation of heart and mind is what she needs the 
most; and in the foregoing pages some idea may 
have been formed of the forces which, combined, 
have been seeking to supply that need. 



It is a widely-recognized principle among the 
missionary workers in foreign lands, and among 
all the mission board secretaries, that the ideal 
toward which, so far and so fast as it is practica- 
ble they shall aim to conduct their work, is a 
condition of affairs in which the native church 
becomes rooted in the soil of the local country. 
One phase which has in recent years received 
much attention has been the effort to make the 
native churches self-supporting in their finances. 
Two things have rendered this difficult. One is 
the fact that in some countries the work has been 
started with the other policy, the churches being 
built and the salaries of the native ministers 
being paid, wholly or in large part, with foreign 
funds; aad, having begun on this plan, the effort 
to shift the financial burden to native shoulders 
has been resisted by the native congregations. 
But a still more serious difficulty has been the 
great comparative and actual poverty of the 
church members, few of whom come from the 
classes that possess means. 

In Korea, the youngest of mission countries, 
we are making an honest attempt in the direc- 



tion of self-support. The ministers' pay has not 
become a practical question, because as yet we 
have ordained none. In the matter of church 
building, however, we are able to make a report 
of progress. Allow me to speak of certain church- 
building operations that came under my own 
observation; and to properly tell the story I shall 
need to mention briefly some of the earlier history 
of the church. The first Presbyterian Church in 
Seoiil was organized by Rev. Dr. Underwood, 
and from the time of his temporary return to 
America, on account of the health of Mrs. Under- 
wood, the superintendence of the church work 
fell to various others of us clerical men in con- 
junction with Mr. Saw, the evangelist. The 
meetings of the church were held in an "L" 
shaped building upon Dr. Underwood's com- 
pound in the foreign settlement. In those early 
days the regular church attendance was not large. 
and probably a majority of those present were, 
those attached to us in some manner — as teach- 
ers, servants, or school children. The first efforts 
to raise money among the church attendants came 
from themselves, when, following the Korean cus- 
tom, they organized among themselves an associa- 
tion for the loaning of money, with the view to 
mutual help at the times of weddings or funer- 
als, which are so costly for Koreans. As we 
thought such an organization was best conducted 
as a private enterprise, we took no ecclesiastical 
notice of it. Later we organized a church collec- 


tiuns committee, composed of two Koreans and 
one foreigner. As they slipped off their shoes 
outside and rattled the Korean cash, bulky in 
amount and small in value, into the soap box by 
the door, they slightly disturbed the meeting, but 
in the interest of education in church -giving we 
were quite willing to be disturbed. As the years 
passed by our church attendance grew, and in 
1895 Mrs. Gifford, who was at that time in charge 
of the work among the women of the church, 
complained that the space on the women's side of 
the curtain would no longer hold the female con- 
gregation, and she urged that a new church be 
built. The members of the Northern and South- 
ern Presbyterian missions took up the plan, and 
a committee consisting of Dr. Underwood and 
Mrs. Gifford was appointed to secure pledges and 
build the church with foreign funds, as it hardly 
seemed possible that much financial help could be 
expected from our Korean brethren. Ground had 
been bought not far from the foreign settlement, 
on a wide street just inside the West Gate of the 
city, and the buildings on it had been removed, 
when news came to us that the Korean Chris- 
tians at Chang-yen, a country district perhaps one 
hundred miles northwest of Seoul, had built a 
church that had cost them forty yen and fully 
that amount of labor, under the inspiration of the 
lamented Rev. W. J. McKenzie, a strong believer 
in native self-support, then living in their midst. 
Courage was therefore given us to try what a 


couple of the Southern brethren had previously 
advocated — to put the burden of the erection of 
the church upon the shoulders of the Korean 
Christians. I happened at that time to be the 
pastor of the Chong Dong church, and I con- 
ducted a mid-week prayer-meeting for men every 
Wednesday noon. On one particular Wednesday 
it was arranged that at the close of the meeting a 
business meeting of the church should be held. 
Dr. Underwood was called down to the sarang, 
and I, partly as pastor and partly representing 
Mrs. Gifford, joined with him in conducting the 
meeting. I can see the picture now. The slid- 
ing doors which divided the sarang into sections 
had been taken out. We sat at one end. The 
Korean men formed a long double line, as they 
sat cross-legged along the sides of the room. 
What interesting work they made in following our 
parliamentary rules in the conduct of the meet- 
ing! The plan that they should undertake the 
erection of the church building seemed to impress 
them favorably. They cheerfully elected, with 
the few parliamentary stumbles above mentioned, 
a Korean committee, consisting of Deacons Hong 
and Ye, who were to act jointly with the commit- 
tee of foreigners. Dr. Underwood and I, think- 
ing that we had accomplished all that could be 
done for some time, were about to close the meet- 
ing, when Deacon Ye deliberately made the 
remark that the building operations had better 
begin right away. My own mind at once reverted 


to the great Catholic cathedral, over in the city, 
since completed, whose unfinished brick walls had 
stretched towards the sky ever since my arrival in 
the country, and I pictured a similar fate for the 
building whose construction it was proposed to 
begin with only a few cash in the treasury. Dr. 
Underwood and one Korean voiced our sentiment 
when they urged that the money first be raised. 
But no, Mr. Ye thought they had better begin at 
once, and what was more remarkable, the rest of 
the men in the room quite agreed with him. And 
so it was voted. 

Dr. Underwood was called to the country about 
that time; so the burden of seeking to carry 
through the plan came upon the Korean commit- 
tee and myself. Deacon Hong, also my helper, 
being gifted with mechanical ability, was put in 
charge of the construction ; while Deacon Ye and 
I undertook to raise subscriptions. We canvassed 
every member of the church, then the members 
of the two or three little churches that had 
recently swarmed into other parts of the city, 
then a couple of Christian officials whom we knew. 
The same was done among the women of the 
church. But to carry the plan through it was 
absolutely necessary that the Korean men in the 
church should contribute work. But this was 
hard for many of them, as they considered them- 
selves to belong to the gentleman class, and 
thought they would lower themselves should they 
labor with their hands. So, by way of example. 


I put on my old clothes and worked three after- 
noons at various forms of coolie work. One day- 
it was shoveling dirt in grading the church site. 
A Korean shovel, you know, consists of an iron- 
shod wooden spade, with a handle six feet long. 
Into its wooden sides are bored holes, and two 
long straw ropes are inserted. Then three or 
more men take hold of the two ropes and the 
shovel handle, and while the man at the handle 
guides the operations, they vigorously heave the 
dirt. Another day the work was the braiding of 
straw ropes. The third day we pounded broken 
tiles and stones into the holes into which the 
foundation stones to support the wooden pillars 
v/ere to be inserted. This was done with a 
boulder to which were attached a dozen straw 
ropes. Men and boys took hold of the ropes and 
straightened out as in tossing with a blanket ; at a 
signal they relaxed, and the stone fell like a trip- 
hammer. Koreans turn this work into a frolic, 
by heaving the stone in time to the chanting of a 
chorus that is sung responsively to the solo sing- 
ing, usually improvised, of one of their number. 
The men of the church took hold of the work in a 
very gratifying manner, as did the small boys in 
the school, who, after school hours, helped in all 
ways possible to them — for instance, scouring the 
streets of the cit)^ for broken tiles and stones. 
When skilled labor was required, Mr. Hong called 
in a carpenter and the men worked under his 
instructions. I believe it became necessary to 


pass around the subscription paper a second 

A very curious thing occurred. One morning- 
early a visitor called upon me. He proved to be 
a tall, elderly man, who occasionally attended 
our meetings. His errand was to tell me that a 
friend of his, living in the country, had heard 
from him about the building of the church, and 
wished to make a contribution. An hour later 
Mr. Hong came in. He told me that timbers for 
the frame work of the church were coming that 
day, and that they needed just twenty yen to 
complete payment for them. I then told him of 
the man who was coming at 10 o'clock that morn- 
ing to contribute just exactly that amount, 
twenty yen, to the work. Promptly at the hour 
named Mr. Shin, a perfect stranger to us all, put 
in his appearance. Two or three of the Korean 
brethren and myself met him in a room adjoining 
the church site. Twenty silver yen were taken 
from a roll and deposited in our midst on the 
floor. He had brought along also a couple of 
packages of tobacco as a present to the commit- 
tee in charge of the work; but they decided, I 
believe, to sell it and turn the proceeds into the 
building fund. We talked with him a long time, 
instructing him in the way of salvation, and before 
we parted he knelt and prayed for the forgiveness 
of his sins. I gave him some Christian books, 
and he went to his home in the country. I have 
since seen him once or twice, and I could never 


discover that there had been any ulterior motive 
in what he did. I could never explain this singu- 
lar event in any other way than that God had, in 
answer to prayer, put it into this stranger's heart 
to bring us just the amount that was needed. In 
this connection let me remark that many of us 
missionaries have learned to count upon prayer as 
just as practical a factor in our work as the prep- 
aration of our financial estimates. 

Mrs. Gifford and I, being transferred to the 
eastern side of the city to look after religions 
work in the neighborhood of the girls' school, Dr. 
Underwood resumed the pastorate of the Chong 
Dong church; and the latter half of the church 
building operations was done under his superin- 
tendence, in co-operation with the Korean com- 
mittee. With the coming of the rainy season 
appeared the scourge of Asiatic cholera; and 
building operations being suspended on account of 
the rains, Dr. Underwood took the entire force of 
Christian men over to help him, Mrs. Underwood 
and Dr. Wells in their improvised cholera hos- 
pital, at the "Shelter," outside the city. It was a 
time when a majority of the missionaries in Seoul 
devoted themselves to the care of the sick and 
the dying. As the result of their untiring exertions 
and the skillful use of salol, the Doctors Under- 
wood and Wells saved 66 percent, of the patients 
in their hospital. The Korean Christians, at the 
end of their noble and perilous service, were 
generously remembered by the government; and 


a large part of what was given them they turned 
into the church-building fund. But still there 
was not enough money. Then those church 
members who were employed by missionaries as 
teachers, in addition to all they had previously 
given secured from their employers an advance 
of one month's wages, which they were to repay 
in installments, and this they turned into the 
treasury. I know of some of the extra efforts 
and the sacrifices that Korean Christians made in 
order to raise this building fund. Women did 
sewing in order to raise money. One Christian, 
outside of working hours, painted a sign-board for 
a chapel, and pawned his spectacles. One woman, 
working as a servant in a foreign family at the 
rate of four yen, or two of our dollars, a month, 
for several months contributed fully a fifth of 
her wages. Her employer expostulated with her 
for giving so much; but the woman said that 
it was a pleasure for her to give all that she could 
for the work. The church, when built, was a 
rectangular, tiled-roof building, in thorough 
Korean style, with a row of pillars and a partition 
running up through the middle of the church as 
far as the pulpit platform, to separate the men 
and the women. It holds between two and three 
hundred people. Here are held the preaching 
services. Sabbath School and mid-week prayer 
meeting. The contributions of the Korean Chris- 
tians amounted to fully five hundred yen, and, 
since the yen is worth about fifty cents of our 


money, equal approximately to $250. Probably 
an equal value in labor was freely given. This 
is better understood when you remember that $4 
of our money per month is a high average for 
the wages earned by the men of the church. 
The total contributions of this church for the 
year 1897 have amounted to $203.55 (y^^O- -^^^^ 
that they are as earnest on the spiritual side of 
the work as they are in looking after its material 
interests is seen in the fact that they have them- 
selves been teaching eighteen catechumen clashes 
in the city and suburbs, and have been conduct- 
ing regular, active work in eight or more vil- 
lages within a radius of thirty miles from 
Seoul. This surely is a good record for one 

Other circles of believers have done well also. 
The Chang-yen church, referred to above, have 
since doubled the size of their church building. 
In the regions about Pyeng-yang twenty-three 
small churches have been built or adapted from 
existing buildings; also in the southern part of 
the Whang Hai province and in the vicinity of 
Seoul eleven more have been prepared, all 
with money and work contributed by the Kor- 
eans. Perhaps a dozen Christian primary schools 
are supported in part from native funds ; and the 
Koreans are paying the salaries of certain of their 
number, who go about the country adjacent to 
Pyeng-yang and Seoul as colporteurs. The rec- 
ord of the Methodist brethren is also good; for 


their Korean Christians in Seoul also raised seven 
hundred yen, which they combined with foreign 
funds in the erection of a large brick church, 
with a foreign exterior, located in the middle of 
the foreign settlement. But what has touched 
me most, revealing as it does in the Korean 
believers the depth of that Christ-like compassion 
for need and suffering outside of its own circle, 
and that looks for no advantage in return — the 
same motive which impels 3"ou, the givers to for- 
eign missions, to send the beneficent Gospel to 
them, and a motive for which you will look in 
vain in a purely heathen community — was their 
conduct at the time of the late famine in India. 
The "Repository" and "Independent" make men- 
tion of it. The "Christian News," published in 
Seoul, at the close of a graphic account of the ter- 
rible famine, intimated the willingness of the editor 
to forward any contributions sent to him. The 
response from the Korean Christians was hearty 
and immediate. The Presbyterian churches of 
Seoul raised some sixty odd yen. The Metho- 
dists and Presbyterians of Pyeng-yang sent fully 
as much more. The Christians of Chang-yen 
also took up a collection, to which the "Reposi- 
tory" for May alluded as follows: "Some of the 
women, not having ready cash with them, took 
the rings off their fingers, as no less than eight 
solid silver rings were among the contributions 
sent to Seoul. These rings were sold and netted 
twenty-seven yen and fifty sen — making a total 


of over eighty-four yen contributed by this con- 
gregation to the starving ones in India." 

In the face of facts like the foregoing, I sup- 
pose the critics of missions will continue to shake 
their heads and moan, "Foreign missions are a 
failure. The native converts are all 'rice Chris- 
tians.' " 



The name of the city of Pyeng-yaiig, under 
half a dozen forms of spelling, is now world- 
famous as the scene of one of the most decisive 
battles in the recent Chino-Japanese war. It is 
by far the most important city in the north of 
Korea, located perhaps i8o miles to the north of 
Seoul, upon the Tatong River, and said to have 
had in the days before the war a population of 
100,000 people. Its history carries us back to the 
times of Samuel the judge, when the Chinese 
statesman Kejamade the site of the city of Pyeng- 
yanghis home, and became the founder of Korean 
civilization. One gets a curious composite 
impression of ancient and modern history in vis- 
iting the grave of Keja, situated just north of the 
city. Upon the top of a knoll the semi-globular 
grave, with a low, tiled stone wall half surround- 
ing it, and stone images and a sacrificial slab 
in front of the mound, remind one of a far 
antiquity; while the wooden shrine below the 
knoll, with its walls scarred and perforated in 
every direction by the bullets of the battle which 
raged over the site, is very miich in evidence of the 
recent past. During the making of the nation 


the capital of the country had a wandering life, 
the most ancient of whose sites, however, was the 
city of Pyeng'-yang-. In later days and until the 
present, the city has been the provincial capital 
of Pyeng An Do, the most northwestern of the 
eight provinces into which the country, until 
recently, has been divided. Again, the city is by 
far the most important commercial center in the 
north of Korea. The people are handsome, 
spirited, energetic, with much force and strength 
of character, which makes them a power either 
for good or evil. Indeed, in the past, Pyeng-yang 
had the reputation for being the wickedest city in 
the country; one evidence of which was the fact 
that the city was famed the whole country over 
for the number of its fair but frail dancing-girls, 
whose numbers, it is said, have not infrequently 
been recruited from the more important and 
influential families of the city. How cruelly the 
poor city has been punished, however, is evi- 
denced by the great swaths of vacant-house 
sites here and there visible within the ancient 
walls, where the homes of the people were razed 
to the ground by the war. Yaiigbaiis, or the 
aristocratic-leisure class, are rare in the city and 
region. Roman Catholicism has made nothing 
like the impression in this region that it has in the 
southern provinces. 

There are a number of view points from which 
it would be interesting to consider quite at length 
the city of Pyeng-yang; but sufficient, I think, 


has been mentioned to indicate the importance of 
the city as a strategic point from which to do 
religious work. As a rather wonderful religious 
movement has sprung up in this northern section 
of the country, it will be well to confine our 
attention to the opening of missionary work in 
Pyeng-yang and its vicinity. 

In the early days of the Presbyterian Mission 
(North), Dr. Underwood, on one or two occasions, 
accompanied by Mr. Appenzeller of the Metho- 
dist Mission, made six different visits to the city, 
while on his way to and from Eui-Ju, in the 
northwestern corner of the country, where he 
had work started. On each of these occasions 
he spent some time in preaching and selling 
Christian books; and at one time he had a couple 
of colporteurs located in Pyeng-yang. I may 
further mention that in those days Mr. Appen- 
zeller also had a helper living in Lhs city. Upon 
the departure of Dr. Underwood to America, in 
the spring of 1891, the work in the north fell to 
the portion of Rev. S. A. Moffett. For a couple 
of years Mr. Moffett made spring and fall trips 
to Eui-Ju, spending some time on each occasion 
in Pyeng-yang. By 1892 the Presbyterian Mis- 
sion had reached the conclusion that Pyeng-yang, 
in preference to Eui-Ju, was the center where 
eventually they hoped to open their station for the 
work in the north ; and accordingly in the sum- 
mer of that year Mr. Moffett located his helper, 
Mr. Ham Sok Chin, there to do preliminary 


work, Mr. Moffett's policy was to win his way 
in gradually. 

In February, 1893, property was secured for 
Mr. Han, with rooms that could be occupied 
upon their visits by Mr. Moffett and Rev. Graham 
Lee, who had joined him as a colleague in this 
northern work. The Methodist Mission, in the 
person of W. J. Hall, M.D., also bought build- 
ings at the same time. While the people of the 
city showed a friendly disposition, the city magis- 
trate and his underlings disliked the presence of 
foreigners, and consequently stirred up trouble, 
Messrs. Moffett and Lee thought it wise to give 
way before the storm, returned the property 
bought for their helper outside the city, and 
quietly withdrew. But it was not long before 
their helper, Mr. Han, had again bought prop- 
erty, this time inside the East Gate, near the 
present site of the Pyeng-yang church, where, in 
the fall of the same year, Mr. Moffett quietly 
returned to spend the winter, this time being 
quite unmolested by the officials of the city. 

The winter was spent by Mr. Moffett and his 
helper in daily work, which could hardly be called 
preaching so much as familiar conversation with 
individuals or groups of men wherever they met 
them, whether in Mr. Moffett's room, where most 
of the work was done, or upon the streets in and 
around the city. And the especial themes to 
which the conversation was ever brought around 
were what the Bible has to say on sin and the 


personal need of salvation through Christ. And 
it is worthy of note, as one explanation of the 
wide spread of Christian work throughout that 
northern region, from Pyeng-yang as a center, 
that of those who became Christians, many, 
whether from precept or example, quickly adopted 
the spirit and methods of Mr. Moffett and his 
helper in the constant, aggressive "hand-picking" 
of souls. Let it be observed that the Holy Spirit 
ever continues to bless the faithful, persistent, 
personal presentation of the teachings of the Bible 
upon these great themes of sin and salvation 
through the blood of Christ. There was also a 
wide sale and distribution of Scriptures and other 
Christian books. This time, in short, was a 
period of widespread seed-sowing. Nor was this 
all. Mr. Moifett now commenced the systematic 
and careful instruction of a group of "catechu- 
mens," or applicants for baptism, that began to 
gather about them as the result of their evangel- 
istic work. In January, 1894, Mr. Moffett had 
the joy of receiving into the church by baptism 
seven men, and at the same time formally enroll- 
ing as catechumens two others, one of whom, a 
Mr. Han, from Anak, in Whang Hai Do, the 
next province to the south, I shall have occasion 
to mention again in referring to the spread of 
the work into the northern part of that province. 
These men began at once to tell others what 
they had learned of the Gospel truth. The last 
of April Mr. Moffett returned to Seoul. 


About the 7th of May, 1894, Dr. Hall, of 
the Methodist Mission, with his wife, his little 
boy and his household goods, arrived in Pyeng- 
yang, and moved into the house he had previously 
purchased. The second night after their arrival 
began the persecution ever memorable in the 
history of the work in Pyeng-yang. Seven of the 
native Christians were holding their regular 
prayer-meeting in the evening in the room of 
Mr. Moffett's helper, Mr. Han, when into their 
midst strode a number of official servants of the 
magistracy and proceeded to beat them, one of 
the servants using a ragged piece of cord-wood. 
They then produced the red cords used for the 
tying of criminals, and pinioned their arms 
behind their backs. They stated that the order 
had come from the king to kill them all for being 
Christians. Then they started with the party for 
the city prison, taking with them from the house 
next door the man who had sold to Mr. Han the 
house then occupied by him. On the way all were re- 
leased with the exception of Mr. Han and the former 
owner of the house, whom they threw into prison. 

The same night some one brought word to Dr. 
Hall that about one o'clock a. m. someone had 
knocked on the window of his helper, Mr. Kim 
Chang Sikie, saying that the Doctor had called him. 
Mr. Kim promptly opened the door, when he was 
seized, beaten and carried off to prison. The 
owner of the house bought by Dr. Hall was also 
seized and imprisoned the same night, and the 


following forenoon one of the Methodist Chris- 
tians was also arrested. Early that morning Dr. 
Hall went to see the governor, but was told that 
he was sleeping. Going to the prison, he found 
the men with their feet stretched apart and 
fastened in stocks, in such a manner as to cause 
them intense pain. The doctor telegraphed the 
situation to Seoul. During the day the prisoners 
were beaten and money or promissory notes to 
considerable amounts were extorted from them 
by the brutal jailers. A paper came from the 
officials ordering Dr. Hall out of his house. 
Later in the day the doctor again sought an 
interview with the governor; but he refused to 
see him or grant him any protection. In the 
course of the afternoon came telegrams stating 
that the English and American legations (Dr. 
Hall was a British subject) would require the 
Foreign Office to order the release of the men and 
the granting of protection to Dr. Hall and his 
family. Then a runner from the magistracy 
appeared, demanding the paper brought by him 
in the morning from the officials ordering Dr. 
Hall out of his house. They saw they had gone 
too far in assuming jurisdiction over a foreigner. 
The Doctor refused to give it. The runner 
stamped about in a rage, and finally seized Dr. 
Hall's servant by the top-knot, beat him, kicked 
him, and ordered him taken to prison. The 
Doctor then let him have the paper, and the man 
went away satisfied. 


Night settled down over that harassed mission- 
ary home and the group of tortured, bleeding 
Christians in the filthy prison, and what earnest 
prayers must have risen to God that night for 
deliverance. In the course of the evening crash 
came a great stone through the paper window of 
Mrs. Hall's room. But we are told that God so 
put his peace into those missionary hearts that 
they had refreshing sleep. In the morning the 
water-carriers were forbidden to bring water to 
Dr. Hall's house. A lying report came to them 
through an official servant that a telegram had 
come from Seoul stating that the American and 
English ministers had seen the king, and as the 
result of the interview, among other things, the 
order had been sent to the governor to behead all 
the Christians. Dr. Hall, on visiting the prison, 
found that this much was true — the prisoners had 
been removed to the death cell, where criminals 
soon to be executed are confined. All day they 
were threatened, beaten and tortured in the 
stocks. They tried to make Kim, Han and the 
other Christians renounce their Christianity ; but 
with the faith of the martyrs they steadily refused. 
Then to Dr. Hall came the rumor that the gov- 
ernor, who, on account of his being a member of 
the powerful Min family, to which the queen 
belonged, did not fear punishment, was about 
to telegraph to the capital that these men were 
all Tong Haks, or members of the rebel party 
then rising throughout the country. 


In Seoul all this news, as it was telegraphed, 
was very disquieting to the missionary com- 
munity; and at five o'clock that afternoon a 
special prayer-meeting of Methodist and Presby- 
terian missionaries met at the house of the Rev. 
Dr. Underwood. In the meantime energetic 
action was being taken by the legations. The 
British Consul-General, Mr. C. T. Gardiner, now 
deceased, a diplomat of thirty years' experience 
in China, strongly backed by the former able 
American minister, Mr. J. M. B. Sill, brought 
heavy and repeated pressure to bear upon 
the Foreign Office, demanding the immediate 
release of the employes and Christians, and 
the missionaries had barely gotten home to 
their suppers from that prayer-meeting when the 
glad news came over the wires that the prisoners 
had been released. The next morning at day- 
break Mr. Moffett and Mr. McKenzie, with chairs 
and extra coolies, started for Pyeng-yang, to 
travel night and day. But to take up the thread 
of the story in Pyeng-yang. The night previous, 
while the men were still in prison, word came 
summoning them before the acting-magistrate of 
the city. Apparently it meant that they were 
to be executed. They were brought before him 
and made to kneel in his presence. He ordered 
them to renounce their connection with the for- 
eigners, and to revile the name of God. The two 
house owners, who made no pretensions to Chris- 
tianity, gladly complied- and one Christian, who 


had not known the truth long, abjured his faith 
under the terrible ordeal. But the two Christian 
helpers, with the faith of a Paul and a Stephen, 
refused to do so. Instead of being led without 
the city to their execution, however, after being- 
beaten they were released. As they started to 
go an official servant, who had been one of the 
prime movers in the persecution, set up the cry, 
"They are all Christians, and no matter if they 
are killed." Thereupon the whole pack of 
yamen-runners started after them with stones. 
Two of the Christians escaped down side streets 
and were not pursued; but Mr. Kim, Dr. Hall's 
helper, was stoned all the way home, and stag- 
gering into the presence of Dr. Hall, sank to the 
floor nearly lifeless. Mention should be made 
here of a school-teacher by the name of Ye, who 
was at that time living in a village ten miles out 
from the city. He was a Christian and a friend of 
Mr. Han, the helper. While the persecution was 
at its height word came to him of what was 
transpiring in Pyeng-yang, and he immediately 
declared his intention of going into the city. His 
friends protested that should he do so he was 
liable to be killed. "I cannot help it, " was his 
reply. "Mr. Han is my friend, and I am going 
in to help him. If Mr. Han dies and the need 
should exist, I will die with him." But by the 
time he reached the city the prisoners had been 
released. In Soon-an, some eighteen miles 
north of the city, there previously had been a 


class of twenty inquirers. When news of the 
troubles in progress reached there, all but three 
men renounced what little faith they had, and these 
three hurried into the city to learn the truth 
regarding the disquieting rumors. As these 
men afterward did a notable work, mention will 
be made of them further on. 

After the release of the prisoners things became 
quiet. Messrs. Moffett and ^McKenzie presently 
appeared upon the scene and entered upon an 
investigation of the affair. The authorities were 
temporarily cowed. Dr. Scranton, of the ]\Ietho- 
dist Mission, arrived later, and Dr. Hall and fam- 
ily, under the instructions of the British Consiil- 
General, withdrew with him to Seoul. ]Mr. 
McKenzie also took his departure. Few people 
outside of the Christians were coming to see Mr. 
Moffett and his helper. 

It was drawing into the heat of June and the 
yamen-runners were still muttering their threats, 
when, partly to get a change from the stifling 
city, partly to look after country work, and partly 
to see what would be done by the authorities in 
his absence, Mr. Moffett paid a visit of a week to 
Anak, in the next province south, where he stayed 
holding meetings at the house of Mr. Han, men- 
tioned above as a promising catechumen. After 
his return the people about the magistracy, find- 
ing that no further notice had been taken in Seoul 
of their maltreatment of people in the employ of 
the foreigners, became emboldened, and threat- 


ened openly to kill all the Christians in Pyeng- 
yang as soon as Mr. Moffett left, and sometimes 
going so far as to threaten the life of Mr. Moffett 

About this time came the opening of the 
Chino-Japanese war. The news of the occupation 
of the capital and the taking of the palace by 
Japanese troops created a perfect panic among 
the citizens of Pyeng-yang. The Christians alone 
were calm and went boldly about the city urging 
men to put their trust in God. People kept com- 
ing to Mr. Moffett for the news. Women 
thronged the quarters of helper Han's family as a 
refuge from their fears. It was so quiet and 
peaceful there, they said, while outside all was 
wailing and confusion. This peaceful frame of 
mind of the Christians made a considerable 
impression upon the people of P3-eng-yang. It 
was now becoming really dangerous for Mr, 
Moffett to be away from the capital ; but so long 
as the threat of death hung over the Christians, 
he felt it wrong to leave them. The American 
minister now brought such pressure to bear upon 
the Foreign Office that the authorities in Pyeng- 
yang were compelled to refund all the money 
that had been extorted from the prisoners and 
all the expenditures necessitated in telegraphing 
and in special trips to and from the capital, 
amotmting to 500 yen (about $250), which 
amount was paid by Governor Min; and a form 
of punishment was inflicted upon the three men 


most guilty, or their substitutes. This broke the 
back of the opposition, and no more threats 
were heard. News of this vindication of the 
rights of the missionary and his employes spread 
all over the country, and, if the expression may 
be allowed, stock in his religion showed an 
upward tendency. 

Soon after this the Chinese army poured into 
Pyeng-yang. The position of Mr. Moffett had 
become precarious. Although he did not know 
it, only a short time previous Rev. James Wylie, 
a Scotch Presbyterian missionary, had been mur- 
dered in Manchuria by these same troops. He 
remained close in his room. His servant brought 
in word that Japanese heads were impaled 
above the city gates, and all with their hair cut, 
even to Korean Buddhist priests, were being 
beheaded on suspicion of being spies. Presently 
the Korean Christians held a prayer-meeting, 
and at its close adjourned in a body to urge Mr. 
Moffett to leave the city, as his presence there 
was now no longer necessary to their safety. 
That night he called in the Chinese telegraph 
operator, who knew him, and through his media- 
tion procured an interview with the Chinese gen- 
eral, as the result of which the general gave 
orders to put up a notice granting protection to 
the "Christian chapel," and detailed a squad of 
soldiers who escorted him on his way to the capital 
and incidentally seized a city farther south, from 
which point the party proceeded unattended. 


Mr. Moffett's first contact with the Japanese 
lines nearly proved disastrous. His party was 
crossing a stone bridge in the dusk of the even- 
ing, when suddenly out of a neighboring house 
rushed four Japanese soldiers, who in an instant 
of time, with a click, click, click, click, brought 
to bear their guns upon the party. Needless to 
say, the company stopped short, in danger of 
being shot for Chinese scouts. The faces of the 
guard wore a look of astonishment, over the 
barrels of their guns, as the tall form of Mr, 
Moffett, crowned by a tall, white, pith hat, 
loomed up out of the chair in which he had been 
riding. A parley was held. Their officer was 
called, and then his interpreter, who happily 
proved a Japanese druggist from Pyeng-yang, 
who knew Mr. Moffett. As the result of his 
mediation a pass was procured which enabled 
the party to proceed through the lines in safety 
to Seoul. 

His remaiaing thus with the Christians in 
Pyeng-yang until the last moment, while person- 
ally dangerous to himself, was no doubt in the 
end a help to the work, inasmuch as it gave Mr. 
Moffett a powerful hold upon the affections of 
those for whom he had ventured so much. 
From the time of the occupation of Pyeng-yang 
by the Chinese troops a large portion of its citi- 
zens fled to the country, among others the fam- 
ilies of Christians. These few Christians, in 
preparing their loads to go by boat, or making up 


the packs they were to sling upon their backs, 
invariably put in a parcel of Christian books. 
Then, in the villages to which they went, they 
followed the method they had seen pursued in 
Pyeng-yang, and preached the Gospel to every 
man they met, with the result that in those vil- 
lages a number of people were converted, and 
still more became inquirers. Nor was this all. 
The three men mentioned above as inquirers in 
Soon- an, eighteen miles north from the city, 
went out preaching the truth in the villages all 
around their home; and a Mr. Ye, of Pyeng- 
yang, who died subsequently of cholera, having 
taken refuge, with his famil}', from the alarms of 
war with Mr. Han, of Anak, in the Whang Hal 
province, sevent}' miles from the city, he, in com- 
pany with Mr. Han, went all through the region 
round about proclaiming the message of the 
Gospel. From the work done at this time in 
these two regions to the north and south of 
Pyeng-yang began the movements which have 
added so many believers and inquirers in the 
villages of those respective districts. 

Fifteen days after the battle, Messrs. Hall, Lee, 
and Moffett returned to Pyeng-yang. A pitiful 
sight met their eyes. Large portions of the city 
had been laid waste ; on the plains round about 
and here and there through the city were strewn 
the dead bodies of Chinese soldiers and horses. 
Mr. Moffett's quarters they found had been looted 
by Japanese, while Dr. Hall's property and goods 


were intact, having been protected first by the 
Chinese and latterly by a Christian Japanese 
doctor, whom they found in possession. The 
Japanese troops still occupied the city. The news 
of the arrival of the missionaries spread through 
the surrounding country in an incredibly short 
space of time, and large numbers of men with 
nothing but a little bundle slung over their backs 
came flocking into the city, invariably paying first 
a visit to the missionaries and inquiring, "Is it 
safe?" and "What is the news?" before returning 
to their ruined homes. For some time thereafter 
the movements of the missionaries were watched 
with breathless interest, and the day they 
returned to Seoul a large number of men packed 
up their little bundles and left the city, too, so 
timorous were they and such confidence did they 
place in the judgment of the foreigner. The 
missionaries were astonished at the heartiness of 
the welcome they received upon this visit from 
Koreans of every class. Even men who had 
before opposed them now showed a friendly spirit. 
Previously, the attitude of mind of the people of 
the city had been rather distant and suspicious ; 
but now, in the light of the sufferings they had 
experienced during the war, their e5'es were 
opened to recognize the disinterestedness of the 
missionaries. Universally they seemed to have 
come to believe that they were the friends of the 
people, persons in whom they could put their 
trust, and from that day to this the missionaries 


have experienced nothing but the utmost cordi- 
ality in Pyeng-yang- upon the part of the Koreans. 
The change of attitude was especially noticeable 
in the inquirers who from this time kept coming 
to them in ever-increasing numbers. It is, per- 
haps, needless to say that the fullest advantage of 
their opportunities was taken by both the mission- 
aries and the Christians in pressing home the 
truths of the Gospel. During their visit in Sep- 
tember, 1894, Messrs. Lee and Moffett repur- 
chased the property which gave them such an 
excellent location and ample building space out- 
side the city gate, and which, as mentioned above, 
they had returned to the original owners a year 
before. After a stay of one month in the 
pestilential city, the party returned to Seoul, and 
it was on the Japanese transport steamer going 
back that the noble-hearted Dr. Hall developed 
typhus fever, from the effects of which he passed 
to his reward a few days after his arrival in the 

Messrs. Lee and Moffett returned in January, 
1895. This marked the permanent settlement of 
the station in Pyeng-yang, although it was not 
until May of the following year that, suitable 
quarters having been prepared, they were joined 
by Mr. Lee's family, when women's work received 
an impetus through the coming of Mrs. Lee, and 
meetings for women were begun. Mr. Moffett 
and Mr. Lee now settled down to their regular 
work, which consisted of daily informal conver- 


sation with inquirers, instruction of Christians, 
the holding of regular services, wide circulation of 
Christian literature and frequent journeys to the 
surrounding country in following up the work of 
native Christians and gathering in the fruits from 
their seed-sowing. From that time until the pres- 
ent the spread of the spirit of inquiry through the 
city and in ever-widening circles throughout the 
surrounding country has been something remark- 
able; and one of the most interesting features has 
been that each new convert has been seized with 
the spirit of the movement, and from the time of 
his conversion has become an active agent in 
the spread of the truth among his neighbors and 
friends. And so the work has grown until the 
mission workers in the station find their strength 
taxed to the utmost for the proper guidance of 
the movement and the suitable instruction of the 
inquirers. To be sure, the station has grown 
somewhat; but the reinforcements are mostly 
new missionaries, handicapped by their lack of 
knowledge of the language. Since the summer 
of 1895 they have had for a colleague J. Hunter 
Wells, M.D., who, in his commodious hospital, 
by his medical skill, has added material strength 
to the work. Last year they were joined by Rev. 
N. C. Whitmore, and the bride of Dr. Wells; 
and this year by Rev. W. B. Hunt and Miss 
Margaret Best, and the pressure of the work was 
felt to be so great that this fall Rev. and Mrs. 
W. M. Baird were detached from other work and 


sent to Pyeng-yang. All this looks to the open- 
ing of new stations in closer contact with the out- 
lying work. Nor have our brethren of the 
northern Methodist Mission been idle; for their 
mission station in Pyeng-yang has been reopened, 
with Dr. and Mrs. E. D. Follwell and Rev. and 
Mrs. W. A. Noble in charge. 

In was in December, 1895, that Messrs. Lee and 
Moffett were holding their winter class of a month 
for the training of their leaders from the country 
villages, and of the helpers of the missionaries, 
and were taking them through a couple of the 
books of the New Testament, seeking at the 
same time to ground them in the faith and to 
stimulate their zeal for Christian work. Mrs. 
Isabella Bird Bishop, the distinguished traveler 
and authoress, happened at that time to visit 
Pyeng-yang, and what she saw of the winter 
class and of the Christian work in general in the 
city made a deep impression upon her. She has 
thus expressed herself with her gifted pen : 

"I am bound to say that the needs of Korea, or 
rather the openings in Korea, have come to occupy 
a very outstanding place in my thoughts. * * * 
The Pyeng-yang work which I saw last winter, 
and which is still going on in much the same way, 
is the most impressive mission work I have seen 
in any part of the world. It shows that the 
Spirit of God still moves on the earth, and that 
the old truths of sin, judgment to come, of the 
divine justice and love, of the atonement, and of 


the necessity for holiness, have the same power as 
in the apostolic days to transform the lives of 
men. What I saw and heard there has greatly 
strengthened my own faith. 

"Now a door is opened wide in Korea, how wide 
only those can know who are on the spot. Very 
many are prepared to renounce devil-worship and 
to worship the true God if only they are taught 
how, and large numbers more who have heard 
and received the Gospel are earnestly craving to 
be instructed in its rules of holy living. * * * 

"I dread indescribably that unless many men 
and women experienced in ivinning souls are sent 
speedily, the door which the church declines to 
enter will close again, and that the last state of 
Korea will be worse that the first. ' ' 

Since the visit of Mrs. Bishop to Pyeng-yang, in 
the winter of 1895, when what she saw impressed 
her so much, the work of the church in that city 
has had a still more remarkable development. 
The membership within that time has increased 
many fold, and the church building has had to be 
enlarged four times to meet the needs of the 
growing congregation, which is now so large that 
the preaching services for the men and women 
on the Sabbath have had to be held separately 
of late, simply because the edifice will not con- 
tain them all at one and the same time. Secre- 
tary Robert E. Speer and Mr. W. H. Grant, 
making a tour of our Presbyterian missions, in 
the summer of 1897 visited Pyeng-yang, and care- 


fully studied the work. Mr. Speer has thus 
expressed the impressions that were made upon 
him: "After making all the necessary qualifica- 
tions to cover the superficial, imitative and secular 
Christians, and those who have come to Christ 
without knowing what it means and who will drop 
away when they learn ; after making these reser- 
vations, I am ready to say that I met in few 
places in the world Christians so eager and intel- 
ligent, with such fresh spiritual experiences, with 
such simple, practical faith, with minds so alert 
and quickened by the Gospel. Our stay at 
Pyeng-yang was very much like a week or fort- 
night at a summer Bible school in America. 
Every day, helpers unpaid by the mission came in 
from the country to tell of fresh progress and 
new congregations. There were no requests for 
financial help. * * * The day we left Pyeng- 
yang, thirty or forty of the native Christians 
went with us through the rain many miles into 
the country. We besought them to return home. 
'No,' they said, 'you have come many thousands 
of miles to see us; it is a small matter that we 
should walk a few miles with you.' And so they 
went with us tmtil we came to a little thatched 
church by the roadside, where, in the drizzling 
rain they held a farewell meeting for us, thank- 
ing God for our visit, and commending us to His 
love and care. It made us feel like Paul and his 
company, when the elders of Ephesus came down 
to take farewell of them at Miletus; and when a 


turn of the road hid the little company from our 
sight, we went on our way, thanking God, and I 
frankly say with new faith and courage. It did 
me more good than all the books on apologetics I 
had ever read. ' ' 

To understand the growth and present status of 
the work in the north of Korea, a few statistics 
may be in order. In the spring of 1894, in 
Pyeng-yang and its vicinity there were 10 bap- 
tized members of the church, with perhaps 40 
catechumens. To the annual meeting of the 
Presbyterian Mission in October, 1895, there 
were reported an addition of 21 baptized mem- 
bers and 180 catechumens, with two church build- 
ings, one wholly and one partially provided by 
the Korean Christians, also two more churches 
under way. In October, 1896, for the same 
region there were reported to the mission an addi- 
tion of 136 baptized members and 480 catechu- 

Including the work in the extreme north, 
centering in Eui-Ju, the enrollment of the whole 
station in the same year, 1896, was 207 members 
and 503 catechumens, with 22 preaching-places 
and contributions from the native congregations 
amounting to 325 yen. Seven more church build- 
ings were provided wholly or with slight help by 
the Korean Christians. In September, 1897, 
reports from the station showed further advance 
as follov/s: There were 377 members and 1,723 
catechumens, also 69 preaching-places, and a 


partial report of money contributed amounting to 
517 yen. Also 14 new church buildings had been 
provided, through the efforts of the Korean 
Christians. One word of Scripture explains this 
whole movement: 

"The Gospel is the power of God unto sal- 








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Name of Mission. 

American Presbyterian 
Mission (North) 

American Presbyterian 
Mission (South) 

Australian Presbyterian 

Y. M. C. A. Mission of 

ran aria 




CO c 

American Methodist 
Mission (North) 

American Methodist 
Mission (South) ... 

Ella Thing Memorial 
Mission (Baptist) . ... 

Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel. 

Soci^t^ des Missions 


Statistics of the Northern Presbyterian Mission, 1897. 

Meeting Places loi 

Communicants 932 

Catechumens 2344 

Added by Confession (11 months) 347 

Sabbath Schools , 18 

Sabbath-school Scholars 1139 

Church Buildings 38 

Separate School Buildings 7 

Students in Special Bible Training loi 

Boys in Boarding Schools 35 

Girls in Boarding Schools 38 

Day Schools 15 

Boys in Day Schools 141 

Girls in Day Schools 25 

Christian Pupils in Schools 33 

United During Eleven Months 16 

Total Native Contributions (partial report)... $971. 12 (yen) 


A SeIvECTion From 

The Missionary Catalogue 


Fleming H. Revell Company 


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Chicago: 63 Washington St. 
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BW8460 .G45 
Every-day life in Korea; 

Princeton Theological Seminary-Speer Library 


Life- i .